Are you getting palpitations at the thought of your workload? Got too much on your plate?
It's certainly not easy to get everything done at the best of times, so how do you prioritise over the holiday periods, with deadlines on the horizon? We look at some ways to help you achieve your goals, without pulling your hair out.
Make an honest list of stuff that needs doing, that does not include gaming on the PlayStation! Get a journal or an online diary to help, you can also set up reminders. Pop a note up near your desk and refer to the list to keep you on track.
KEEP IT REAL AND PRIORTISE:
Be realistic about what you can achieve, you're probably not going to write a novel in a day. Refer to your list and do the most important stuff first. If you have a publisher breathing down your neck, surely this will be your priority?
GRAB MOMENTS WHEN YOU CAN:
Leave the housekeeping duties for another day and take that extra time for your writing. If you are reading a book, cut it down to a few pages rather than a few chapters. Give up a night out … Yes, this is your career, take it seriously.
This is something I've been doing for a while now and it has saved me bundles of time. Reading blogs, articles and emails can sometimes take an age, so the less important stuff can be scan read quickly. Believe me, I'm much better off for it.
Easier said than done, but if you can get away from noise, TV, or anything that will distract you, you will get some quality time to continue your work. If you have an office, lock yourself away. Plead and beg with your partner and family to excuse you from duties for a while, you can pay them back later with a dinner or a romantic evening. If you have a dog, get someone else to walk him/her, (this will stop them pestering you). Fortunately my dog is small enough to sit on my lap whilst I work, therefore she sleeps and doesn't bother me!
Yes, I'm such a meanie! Social media has stolen a lot of my time over the years, so now I have to restrict myself. If you are a social bunny like me, schedule an hour for this once a day. OK, you caught me, maybe twice a day …
GET UP EARLY:
Oh this is tough! Set your alarm for an hour earlier, it gives you that extra time to write or check emails in the mornings. You may need to go to bed sooner in the evening, but it will be worth it. This is something that works for a lot of my writer friends.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE:
If the list you made is not working for you, alter it. Don't be afraid to change your schedule, it's all about getting the right balance.
There are lots of companies out there that provide virtual assistants, maybe it's time to think about hiring one? Use your resources, maybe there is someone closer to home that can help you?
In addition to the time keeping tips, do bare in mind that you should still try to maintain any fitness routine you may have, even if it's just a walk around the block. A healthy body promotes a healthy mind. It's not worth compromising your health, because without that, you won't get much done. Keep drinking plenty of water too, although coffee or some form of caffeine helps, water is essential.
Being organised is key. Plan ahead for the various holidays that are coming up and you will be able to spend time with your family without the stress. Happy Writing!