Do you ever miss work because “there just wasn’t time”?
How about your kids’ soccer games or piano recitals or school drop-offs? Do those get squeezed out by more important events very often?
Unless you’re a crappy employee or parent, then you almost surely answered, “NO!” to all of these questions.
But now think about your exercise routine and date nights with your spouse and … your writing.
Do any of those ever get pushed to the side because life gets in the way? Does it happen often?
Sadly, for most of us, the answer is a resounding, “YES!” (though maybe not with that much enthusiasm).
Why is that? Why can we make it to work every day but can’t find the time to bang out our 1000 words?
Most of the time, the answer comes down to prioritization and scheduling.
What’s Essential to You?
Going to work, taking care of your kids, paying your mortgage — all of those are vital to your happiness and well-being AND they have a definite schedule around them. Come in 30 minutes late a few days in a row, and you may be out of a job.
Miss your son’s big basketball game, and you can make your reservations now for the gnarliest nursing home he can find in a few decades.
Punt on paying your mortgage? Brace yourself for eviction.
These activities are all powerfully externally motivated.
It’s harder for most of us to place the same kind of gravitas on those things we want to do for ourselves, like exercising and writing. These pursuits are important, sure, but they’re not truly urgent.
And therein lies the problem. If we don’t make time for those types of activities, it’s way too easy for us to skip them. Someone is always happy to snatch our time from us, and without urgency, we have no defense.
So how do we impart urgency to our merely important interests?
Make Writing Important Again
Open up your calendar program and slide in an hour for writing, right there between making school lunches and the morning meeting at work. Block off time before dinner to work out. Snatch some of those evening hours before you hit the sack to read fiction.
Then, just stick to your schedule like you would for everything else.
Share your calendar with everyone who might snack on your time and make it clear that ALL of your appointments are inviolable. Just because you’re the only person in a meeting doesn’t make it any less important, and, in fact, usually means it’s MORE important … to you.
Schedule your time.
Guard your time.
Do the stuff that’s important to you.
Do you schedule your writing time? Tell me about it in the comments below.