Outta Time

 I am so excited to work on my new projects! I actually have several that I’m really jazzed about. I’ve started writing a book Hugh Lane. [He’s a famous Irish art dealer with an inspiring story. I wouldn’t have known before I started researching him].

I am creating a couple of new
blogs….all exciting things that interest me greatly. The only thing is I can’t seem to make time to work on them. I’m having a hard time managing distractions and buckling down.

I never seem to use my free time to work on the projects i want to do. I have all of these projects in my head, but my attention gets carried away with all of the latest distractions. Not bad or frivolous things, but getting caught in a phone conversation, getting carried away doing chores, or immediate tasks, walking my dog, going grocery shopping….

All of these things are necessary and good, but we need discipline or  they can take over your life if you let them. That is why people find freelancing so hard. Dealing with a seemingly “wide-open” schedule is harder than dealing with a packed schedule. You always feel like you should be doing something other than what you are doing.

I am not good at creating and enforcing schedules. I don’t think I’m alone.

There was a time when I enforced “office hours,” two to three hours in my office just writing. No phone calls. No e-mails. No Facebook, no contact with the outside world. I don’t know how I lost sight of that. Actually, I do. I started doing my office hours in my living room, where everything happens. My phone is nearby, my dog lets me know she wants to go out, the doorbell rings….and then it all goes downhill.

I am learning to prioritize and guard my time with a vengeance. If I can’t physically separate myself from distractions, I use earphones, do not disturb signs, or I just tell family members that I need to work uninterrupted for 30 mins or so.

My main problem is I go on rabbit trails with Facebook, or emails. I’m really working on discipline, but I still fall prey to “quick checks.” When I find myself doing this, I ask myself, Will this bring me any closer to my goal? If I can’t answer yes, I try to move on.

I am getting better at grabbing pockets of time. Ordinarily I would be using my 10 minute breaks to check Facebook or emails. I now use them primarily for research or writing. Even if I can just capture a few ideas, the time is not spent in vain.

I seem to have a lot of “waiting time.” I’m sure you do too. Waiting on line, waiting for someone who is late, being on hold, etc. Make the most of it. I usually don’t mind waiting. Sometimes I go places earlier just so I can get more work done. I carry a notebook with me to capture important thoughts I may have in random places.
I’m getting much better at it; it takes concentrated effort though. Soon I will be promoting my [finished] book!


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