After my last post about big changes, you might think that would be enough change for one period of time, but no. It’s only the beginning!
I’m here today to tell you how I’m making a BIG CHANGE to the way I use my time.
You see I’ve fallen into the sticky trap that is social media. That little red notification that pops up on my screen or laptop is compelling and I’ve unintentionally been spending way too much time on social media, while trying to convince myself that it’s networking, research or necessary. It’s not, and it needs to change.
I’m taking on board advice from the wise Allison Tait who often tells me (us; listeners, readers) there are no excuses for not writing. TV, social media, busyiness – no excuses. And she’s right. I know she’s right.
And now, I’m half way through reading “How to write your blockbuster” by one of Australia’s most prolific authors, Fiona McIntosh, and it has been the inspiring kick up the butt I’ve needed!
(Side note: this is an awesome, awesome book for aspiring writers. If you haven’t read it, go and get it NOW! And then come back here to continue reading of course.)
So, yes, there’s going to be some big changes and I’m going to stick to them, and you dear readers/blogger/social media pal, are going to hold me accountable.
Bear with me, this is going to be a bit of a long post, but stick with me okay?
I’ve decided to start by looking at the things in my life that need to change. And being the list maker that I am, I’ve made a list.
A list of the top things I need to make time for during my day. These don’t include things like family, housework, errands, exercise – those are a given.
This list, are things that I need to devote my full attention to during my work day, and during the times where I could utilize my time better. e.g. early morning/late night.
It’s my day job and it helps pay the bills. I love what I do and it must come first.
Bookkeeping & hubby’s business admin
This is our livelihood and as much as I hate invoicing, bank reconciliations, administration and filing, it’s my responsibility and it has to be done. It sits in equal first place with copywriting.
Working on my book
Why? Because I want to be published. There I said it. Although, it may never happen, I don’t want to look back and think ‘What if….’ I love writing and I want, and need to make it a priority. At the moment I’m in the excuses mode and I hate myself for it. It must be a priority.
I only commit to blogging twice a week and that fits in well. I want to keep blogging as it loosens my mind, empties my thoughts and allows me the freedom to be me. It also works towards building my online community that one day might be a factor in scoring an agent or publisher.
Looking at this list, you would think that it should be easy. And that’s exactly my point!
Now it’s time to look at the things that must go to make way for my priorities.
What has to go.
Urgh! I have such a love/hate relationship with social media. I love that it keeps me connected with the world, online friends and is a wonderful place to learn. But, it is a time soak. It is addictive. And it can, and often is a simply waste of valuable time. I struggle with cutting back on social media for two reasons. 1. I want to be active and involved with networking for work and writing, and 2. FOMO – fear of missing out. Everything happens on social media doesn’t it? Bur really, do I need to know the second something happens. No! Of course not.
TV time for me is a way to relax. I enjoy the end of the day when the kids are in bed to sit down with hubby and watch our favourite shows. We are both busy and rarely get time for just us, so this is our time together, which is why it is hard to say make changes in this area. And also I love watching really good drama. It helps me with my story development and understanding plot and dialogue – I know I’m weird right? But, I need to manage this time better.
This kind of ties in with social media, but it is more easily justified as it ‘is for work’. Again, I know I can be involved without having to be online all the time.
So, knowing all of this, how do I make the big changes I need?
Bring on List number 3!
Limit myself to checking in once in the morning, and once in the afternoon for a maximum of half an hour each time. Whether that’s 15 minutes early in the morning, and 15 minutes as I sit down to work, that’s okay. Or it might be 15 minutes over lunch and then 15 minutes later in the day. It’s going to be hard. But I know it’s going to make a huge difference.
Compromise. An hour and a half of TV time with hubby (which as we usually either TiVo or Netflix shows means we can still watch two programs), and then an hour or so spent on my writing. usually, hubby falls asleep on the couch anyway, so I think this will work 😉
Again limiting my check ins to twice a day. Ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon.
What will implementing these changes mean for me?
- I’ll get more done. Obvious cow here.
- I’ll use my time more efficiently
- I’ll be using my time on things that fill my cup
- I’ll reach my writing goals and feel better about myself
- Less time online will be better for my mental health. Sometimes I really feel the weight of the world on my shoulders being constantly online. Limiting time online, can only be a good thing.
- I might miss something important (yeah, probably not.)
- Less connection with the blogging community. It’s going to limit my blog reading and commenting, but for now, it’s the way it has to be. I may need to schedule an hour at the end of each week catching up on my favourite blogs – I think that could be a way to overcome this.
- Less online time could mean less platform building, but perhaps more meaningful connection, so maybe not a bad thing.
- People may not get an immediate response to an email, FB message, status, comment etc. But you know what? They won’t die. And if it is a life and death situation, they will always pick up the phone right?
So, now it’s your turn to hold me accountable.
If you see me on social media more than you know I should be, call me out on it. Please do! Or, drop me an email, ask how it’s going, share your own struggles with balancing your time, Facebook or Tweet me, but just know when I don’t respond straight way, I’m not ignoring you, I’m sticking to my guns. And, I’m writing!
Wish me luck. (I may need it).
Have you had to make some big changes to your life?
Need an accountability partner maybe?