This last year, I knew I needed to organize my writing schedule (this is on a day to day basis) in order to keep getting things done and maintain the steady flow of projects getting done.
What I did was I set up a series of alarms on my cell phone broken up by 15 minute breaks.
It looked like this:
8:15 – Work
9:30 – Break time. Hit the “snooze” button once so it gives me 15 minutes of downtime when I HAVE to get away from the computer. My productivity always, always went down when I skipped my breaks.
9:45 – Back to work.
11:00 – Break time.
11:15 – Back to work.
12:30 – 1 pm – Lunch.
2:00-2:15 Break time.
4:30 – Quitting bell
This looks like a lot of breaks, but I used to do all the household chores during this period. It worked out really, really well for me if I obeyed the alarms. I’d do a minimum of 3,000 words/day, even with some time for doing editing.
And there’s always a but.
But then my husband started working from home, too.
And it all went to pots.
Staying awake until midnight or 1 am, therefore sleeping through my morning alarm. Having to make breakfast, coffee, and all the usual stuff. Longer time for lunch, the need to go to the grocery store myself since the husband was no longer passing one on his way home from work.
…and things like the hubbs coming into the office in order to ask questions, share a comment, or query about Christmas gifts.
Being a stubborn git, I refused to acknowledge that my old alarm system was no longer working. Weeks passed, turned into a month and a half.
Now I have a new plan, inspired by a Writer’s Digest post. Here. I won’t be able to do it perfectly 100%, but I’m planning on doing everything in timed 15, 20, 45, and 30 minute bursts. So chores will be timed, getting ready in the morning, every time I sit down at the computer or step away from the desk.
I wish I could just have a “saved timers” option on my phone so I don’t have to do the manual decision of pressing two buttons indicating how long I want the timer to go for. Oh, the horror!
Ok, now I can really type. My husband has left again. During the time I sat down to do this, this is what happened:
Within five minutes, a voice from downstairs, “Hey honey, know what I should do next? Start making and selling Damascus steel trowels!”
Within seven minutes, upstairs, “….blah blah blah…vanity piece, an archaeologist’s prized possession is his trowel ….”
By twelve minutes, “…you’re sitting there typing not really listening to me. I’m insulted. (he’s not) Oh, know what I just figured out, after all these years? You’re a morning worker. I’m not. I work in the afternoon. I’m going to drink the rest of the coffee.”
Which leaves me less than three minutes to complete my task in peace.
Why do I feel like adjusting to children (eventually) really won’t be that big of a shocker to me any more?
More on how I sort out dual-working-from-home posts later. My timer went off 3 minutes ago, but I had to finish.
Your Dearest Nicolette