Monday, March 14, 2011

What to Do When Life Surprises You

I'm a little late coming to the blogging party today. Why? Well, it's good news for a change. On Friday morning I was asked to participate in a continuity series for Harlequin Romance.

This is really good, you say. Why would this affect my Monday morning ritual?

A couple of reasons. First, I'm a person who lives and dies by routine. I like to be at my desk by a certain time of day. I like to first read emails, then twitter, then get started on that morning's projects. Having a new project thrown into the mix doesn't throw me for a tizzy, but I have to get it firmly into the schedule and off my brain before I can be creative.

So to get it off my brain, I had to add it to the schedule...squeeze it in actually. Using a crowbar and a Swiss army knife, I managed to edge the final book of my current contract into June 2012, giving me March through May 2012 to write the continuity.

Once my brain was happy with that, I then had to quickly write today's pages.

Now, I have time to blog.

So what does this have to do with time management?

If you read this post closely, you may have noticed something kind of ... well, interesting. I really know myself. I knew getting an extra book would hit my panic button about my schedule. I knew I couldn't just say, I'll squeeze it in and get back to work. I had to actually, physically put it on a schedule so I could forget about it, until I need to think about it! :)

The second thing is...Having a schedule that you look at regularly, that guides you from day to day, week to week, month to month, takes a lot of stress out of my life. I don't have to "remember" so many things. All I have to remember is to look at my calendar!

So...two tips for today. #1 Know yourself. If you know you're a busy person, or even someone who needs to "handle" things to get them out of your way before you can work, then do what you need to do to clear your head. Know yourself so you can accommodate yourself.

#2...get a good calendar and use it. My system of month-at-a-glance might not work for you. You may only be able to handle one day at a time or one week. But find the calendar system that works for you and use it.

You'll be glad you did!


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