The days are creeping slowly towards the end of summer, that light at the end of the tunnel that’s called “Back to School.” Every year around this time, I grow itchy to re-evaluate my schedule, to start preparing for the school year and shift gears from lazy summer daze to fall with focus. So it seems like the perfect time to start a new series–and to redecorate the blog with some more useful topics.
I’m a big fan of Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing” podcast. One of the questions she repeatedly (and gracefully) continues to answer is the perennial question, “How do you find time to write?” For most of us, the answer is Zen-simple. You find time to write by prioritizing it over all those other activities that fill up your time. If you don’t have time to write, it’s because you put priority over too many other things to fit writing into your day. And this is something we all already know–you don’t find the time for writing, you make it.
Yes, we have heard that song and can sing along to the chorus. But this question keeps getting asked because writers keep hoping for an answer with something concrete that applies in our own lives (and Mur and many other writers have answered with concrete, specific examples of how to make time for writing. But their concrete examples may not resonate with your circumstances, so you keep asking until you find an answer that does). Momming Mondays is my attempt to share all the ways I steal time from the tasks I have to do and shuttle it to the tasks I want to do. And that’s not just writing, either–I’m a much more fun mom when I’m not also the dishwasher, cleaning lady, short-order cook, chauffeur, referee, and taskmaster as well.
Find Time By Knowing Where To Look For It
First step to finding time is knowing its native habitat. You start by charting out your day from breakfast to bedtime. List everything you do and when you do it. Then you divide all those things you do into things you must do and things that you just do, and lo and behold, we discover that there’s quite a bit of our lives that’s taken up with obligations…but we also spend more time than we thought we had, doing things we don’t really care about doing. Like channel-surfing–“watching my show” is one task…”seeing if anything good is on the cooking channels” is an entirely different animal altogether. And once you know where your time goes, you can begin taking some of it back.