Last year, I experimented with different schedules. My goal was to find a way to manage my day so I could maximize my writing, keep social media to a reasonable percentage, and carve out times for errands, prayer, and my own life. It worked wonderfully!
When I stopped paying attention to my "blocks," my writing life slipped into a big blob of do-it-however-I-can. I'm much less productive when I don't have a system.
Sure, I write out my daily goals, but too often, I don't meet them all, or I let the other things important in my life slide behind less important tasks.
Now that I've returned from conference, I'm starting a new book. It's the perfect time to bring back my block schedule! I've decided to make it a 6 week experiment. At the end of 6 weeks, I'll evaluate what I've accomplished, how I felt during the process, and if anything could be adjusted to make life better.
So what is a block schedule? It's where you carve your time into blocks and assign each block a task.
I'm very, very blessed to be a stay-at-home mother with kids in school full time (lest you get TOO jealous, remember, I don't collect a paycheck! Trust me, there is a downside!). I have different time opportunities than someone with a full time job or with small children at home.
We all have to look at our days and be realistic about what we can do with them. Some writers may only have 30 minutes a day to devote to writing. Some might only have one day a week. Others might have every day available.
I spent years with little to no time for my writing, and I waited patiently, always learning, always reading, until the day came I could devote a large chunk of my day to it. I do NOT take a single minute for granted. After 4:30pm, my focus shifts to my family. I'm often shuttling kids to activities and sports, helping with homework, cooking, and trying to fit a short walk with my mini-dachshund in. So I limit my block schedule to the time I have available.
I break my day into 30 minute blocks. I work from 8:00am to 4:30pm. This gives me 17 blocks to work with. Since writing or writing related activities (plotting, writing, revising) are always my top priority, I reserve roughly 50% of my blocks (8 or9) for them. Sometimes I'll take 1 or 2 blocks away to write blog posts or critique.
Social media is fun for me. I didn't spend much time online all year, but I miss it and want to get back into it on a regular basis. I reserved 4 or 5 blocks for this, which ends up being between 24 and 29% of my workday.
For over a year, I became too obsessed with getting things done, and my eating habits and quiet time went haywire. No more. I set one block aside for lunch, and I set another block aside to have quiet time (and afternoon tea!) with God. These two blocks are very important to me. They keep me calm and focused.
Since my kids come home during this time, I also reserve one block to just relax with them and hear about their day. That's important to me too. :)
That's my schedule. What do you do to lasso your day?
Have a fantastic day!