“Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.”
— Miguel de Cervantes
I sit here, at 4:47 a.m. knowing what can happen today, and what might happen, but not what will happen.
Oh, I have a plan. I always have a plan. Sometimes it is a good one, sometimes it isn’t, but it exists.
It all comes down to time management, something I vary between being good at, and totally sucking at. If you are super organized, never get distracted, and have no idea what I’m talking about, you don’t even need to read on. Besides, the rest of us hate you anyway.
Discipline. Time management is about discipline. Making yourself do things, even if they are not what you want to be doing right at this minute. It is tough, and it sucks, because even when you work at home you have your favorite parts of your job and the things you wish you could put off until shortly after your death. Trust me, if you think any profession is exempt, you are sorely mistaken. If you like everything about your job, and can’t relate to this, see the above.
Eliminating Distraction. This is a control what you can control moment. Shut the door. Turn off the wi-fi. Threaten the children with death following slow torture. Threaten your spouse with withheld … well, whatever it is they usually want from you: sex, money, cooking, doing their laundry, sex (did I already say that?).
Deal with interruption. No matter how good you are, or how well you plan, distraction will inevitably come, multiple times a day. If you are the kind of person that has no distractions, ever, during your writing time, also see the above. Most of us have cats, dogs, kids, spouses, phones, and bladders. You can shut these out to an extent, but when the dog pukes in your shoes, or you have to vacate your bowls or empty the coffee you drank all morning you will need to get up from time to time. Unless you wear adult diapers and are not averse to dealing with rashes or dog puked in shoes.
Learn to open “browser windows” in your brain, and leave them open while you piss, let the dog in and out, strangle children (plot material), or cook dinner. You need to be able to go back to what you were doing after the interruption and pick up right where you left off.
Reward yourself. Keep your schedule for a week, and then take some time off, even an hour. Treat yourself to a latte or a giant cookie dough ice cream shake from Arctic Circle (if you are into that kind of thing). A bottle glass of wine or scotch or whatever you fancy, just give yourself something for all of your hard work.
Now get back too it. You’ve wasted enough time reading this blog. Write on! I will be right back after I spend some time in the throne room getting rid of some coffee, last night’s pumpkin cake, and some egg nog.
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.