Ok, not the Whovian style- I don’t think you can just sign up for that. (Not that being a Time lord in that sense wouldn't be fun, I really do want my own Tardis ;)).
But I’m talking about becoming the Master (using it gender neutral here, folks) of your time.
As writers, we never seem to have enough time. Some of us have evil day jobs (or even not so evil ones), some have families, some both. Whatever the case, writing takes A LOT of time, and there never seems to be enough to go around.
Recently, I started getting up earlier (5am) which gives me two and a half hours to do all the usual morning tasks and extras before I leave for EDJ (evil day job ;)). I’m a morning person, so earlier is better, but it does take some getting used to to develop the habit. I have noticed that I like getting things off my plate before work- makes the start of the day less hectic and gets some stuff off the to do list.
Now, my first two of weeks doing this, I wasn’t doing my writing. I would do blogs, other things related to it, but not writing. For me this worked well since I first needed to get back in the habit of 5 am –then get into writing before work.
But last week and this week, I've been writing. Usually hitting 500 words a morning, I keep track of my daily goal (1000 or more) on a spreadsheet where I can put in my current word count at any point and see how many words I've done and how many to go for my daily goal. It may be silly, but that little Excel sheet keeps me moving (just 86 more words! Almost there!).
Getting up early seems to be helping me control my time better. I don't have a choice about when I go into my EDJ, but I do have control of the time around it. By building in time to get something done early, I’ve freed my mind from worrying about my evening goal. I still have one, but it’s reduced and less scary ;).
Another thing I'm doing to get more out of my time, is trying only to watch recorded TV shows and limit myself to two per night. I can easily slip into TV junkie land, so I need to make sure I’m watching what I really want to watch and not just surfing through re-runs. Besides, if they are recorded I can miss all the commercials ;).
I've also found that telling myself what I will be doing for the day/week and keep reminding myself helps. I’ve found that if I commit to myself, “Tonight, I’m making muffins for work”, or “Tonight, I’m getting in an extra 500 words”, I’m more likely to finish the task. In my head it is a done deal, a reality. When I plan things out more I suddenly seem to have more time, since I’m spending less time puttering around thinking about what I should do ;).
Now that I’m on the TimeLord train, I’m looking for more ways to save it and find it- please post your best time tricks!