Saturday, November 19, 2016

Time Management and How Badly I Suck at It by Alicia Dean

Well, look at me, late again with my post. No surprise there. I'm constantly running in circles, chasing my tail, trying to keep my head above water. And, if three cliches in a row don't tell you how overwhelmed I am, nothing will. :) Here is a brief snapshot of my tasks/duties/life:

I work a full-time outside the home job
I am a writer (or so I think...)
I edit for The Wild Rose Press (and have 20 plus projects currently in my schedule)
I freelance edit
I run an author promo loop, Authors Helping Authors
I coordinate our OKRWA International Digital Awards Contest
I am now webmistress for OKRWA
A multi author newsletter
I try to do some marketing, including a few FB Pages I maintain
I regularly blog

So...yeah, that's all I can think of at the moment. But you know, that's probably plenty. LOL. Of course, that obviously doesn't include social events, family and friends, etc. Guess what gets pushed to the back burner? If you said my own writing, you are correct. I know ways I could make better use of my time; get up two hours earlier than necessary, stop playing around on the internet, stop creating new projects that take up my time, and watch less TV. Also, I bought this book called 5,000 Words per Hour, Write Faster, Write Smarter - I'm not sure if it's truly helpful, I've barely begun reading it, because, well, I don't have the time. :) Here's the link if you want to check it out:

I also hired an assistant. She has been through some difficulties lately and hasn't been able to do as much as we'd planned, but I'm sure we'll get on track with that soon.

Other than the things I mentioned, any suggestions for making better use of my time? Do any of you have tricks you use to be more productive? (I feel like I've blogged about this before, but I looked back and didn't see it. Sorry if I'm being repetitive!)


Jannine Gallant said...

I don't know what to tell you, Ally. You're insanely busy. I've managed to combine the paycheck job with writing. Granted, working for Parks & Rec doesn't pay a lot, but mostly they need a warm butt in a chair. I can do what needs to be done and still put in hours of writing time. When my husband makes noises about a better paying job where I actually have to do something, I tell him he's insane since this is the ONLY way I can write enough to meet my deadlines. Short of changing your career, throwing out your TV, or getting rid of the internet, I don't know how you can fit it all in! Ditching most of the promo and promo groups might be the place to start...not that I want you to leave us here at the Roses, mind you! I've cut back on all the promo that takes more than two minutes per day and doesn't produce results in actual sales...except this blog. I love our group!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm retired. Having more time doesn't really help. I just fill it with other things like mentoring a pre-published author and spending more time with my street team. I blog here and another place as well as my own spot. I do a newsletter every two or three weeks. Mostly I write. My problem is staying on task with one book, start to finish. I hop from sub-genre to another. I swear I have ADD. Am I ever late? Yes. Although I'm more inclined to just plain forget. Life gets hectic and I have no words of wisdom to give you.

Andrea Downing said...

If you want something done ask a busy person --an old adage which seems to suit you well. I think if we have more time we only fill it anyway and remain equally busy. And who's happy sitting and twiddling thumbs? Soldier on! :-)

Leah St. James said...

May I join the "I suck at time management" club? I don't have your workload, Alicia (I think few on this planet do!), but mine still keeps me away from writing. With me, it's an inability to focus. I juggle so many things at my "paycheck" job, and I come home so exhausted with more to juggle here, I can't seem to let my mind relax enough to get into story-telling. Like Jannine, I've cut out a lot of daily promo because for me it has done nothing. I've actually been writing more the past few weeks though (panicked to get our Christmas story done!). I've been putting it FIRST when I get up in the wee hours, before checking email and Facebook and Twitter. It feels wonderful. That would be my suggestion to try.

Rolynn Anderson said...

I worked so damned hard as a teacher and principal for 30 years, so I get the 'job' job problem, Alicia. I didn't have to time write back then. Give yourself a're trying to fit in writing, too. I can't imagine! I always said to myself back then...and I still do today: Rolynn, you're going to live to be've got lots of time to accomplish all your goals.

Margo Hoornstra said...

During my day job days, I pretty much quit writing altogether-the writing I did at work didn't count. Now I' can write what I want full time and still can't fit in everything. I, too, gave up on the promo, and have hired an assistant who's as busy as I am, so we haven't yet truly gotten on track either. My husband's credo is one day at a time. I guess provided you can fit everything in.

Alicia Dean said...

So sorry for my absence! I was at my OKRWA meeting all day and I thought I'd find time to check in on the blog, but I am afraid I didn't. :(

Jannine, yes, you have a point. Although, I feel like if I keep trying the promo avenues, for myself and others, something will click and once I see which is the best route, I can focus on that. I won't leave this group. I love it too! :)

Good point, Vonnie. At a previous job, I had weeks of layoff from time to time, and I wasn't any more productive. I guess I just need to be organized and prioritize and deal with my schedule. :) Good for you, mentoring pre-published authors. That's an awesome thing to do.

Ha, exactly, Andrea. that old adage is actually very true. Yes, that's about the best thing to do...soldier on. :) Thanks!

Yes, Leah, with your day job, I can understand. Fortunately, my day job allows a little breathing room and I actually do some of my non-work stuff while I'm there. Which I probably shouldn't. Glad you're writing! That's what I need to do, make sure I write before anything else. Right now, I have so many edits, that's not possible, but when I'm semi-caught up, I will try that for my writing. :)

Thanks, Rolynn. That's true, I am going to live to be 100 as well. :) Yes, I do need to give myself a break, but then, I also have people counting on me. So...I'll just take all this wonderful advice and do the best I can. :)

Margo, I'm definitely seeing that, even without a day job, it's not easy to accomplish everything we want to do. (By the way, don't worry, I will get your edits to you almost on schedule! :))

Diane Burton said...

I think our chapter meetings are on the same day. I was at the MMRWA meeting yesterday. After driving thru a sleet storm (on & off), I was gone from 8:30 to almost 6. Love the inspiration I get from meetings, but I lose a complete day. Anyway, I want to join the "I suck at time management club" too. Like many of our writers, I'm retired from the "job" job. I can write all day. Instead, it's easy to waste time. I just got the book you recommended (5k per hour). Let's see if that helps. My only suggestion, Ally, is to drop one of your "jobs"--probably not the paying one. LOL Or not take on so much. Easy to say, right? Good luck. If you do drop a job, I hope it isn't the freelance editing. That's selfish on my part since I love how you make my books better. Good luck.