Beginning today I’m working off a new schedule. Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried figuring out the best way to integrate everything I do into a schedule that will not wear me down within the first week or two. I need a schedule that allows me plenty of time with the family, as well as giving me time to write, read, and of course attend my day job. In addition, it has been months since I’ve had any kind of regular workout routine and I desperately need it. So I need a schedule that also fits in a workout, my chores around the house and various other things.
What I’ve come up with a is a schedule “plan” for each day of the week. What this means is that it is the schedule that I’d stick to in a perfect world, but that I understand it isn’t perfect and adjustments have to me made along the way. The schedule has me up at 6am during the week and working out first thing in the morning. It factors in things like my commute to and from work (not very long, but with built in slack time to account for days I’m running late either way, or traffic). It slots out time for my daily Golden Age reading so that I don’t get behind. It accounts for time to do daily household chores, as well as spending the evening with the family (as opposed to in my office, online). It accounts for 2 hours of writing at night, and some additional reading before bed.
Getting the workouts done first thing in the morning I think will be key. Over time, the more I work out, the more energy I have and it will make my later nights easier to handle. It is also an early morning accomplishment that I can feel good about for the rest of the day. And building 2 hours of writing time into the day after I’ve had time to hang out with the family is also key. I do my writing after the kids have gone to bed and I don’t feel guilty about not spending as much time with them as I’d like. If you count weekends, this schedule gives me 14 hours of writing time each week, which is far better than what I’ve been doing.
The schedule accounts for other things. For instance, every other Thursday evening has 2 hours blocked out for me to write my Wayward Time Traveler column, instead of doing fiction writing. Every other Sunday afternoon has a few hours carved out to allow me to compile all my writing for the Vacation in the Golden Age post. On weekends, I’m not doing workouts. I figure 5/week is a good start and I’ll take the weekends off. Thus, my weekend mornings generally look like this:
- 7-9am: Writing
- 9-10am: Blog/social networking
- 10am: Breakfast
- 10:30am: Chores
How does this affect what I do here?
- Blogging and social networking will be generally confined to early in the day or late at night.
- Expect to see blog posts here before 8am or after 10:30pm (unless they are scheduled ahead of time)
- I’m also responding to comments, and email during the same time periods (unless of course the email requires an immediate response, most of which don’t)
- Tweets will continue as before, since they generally only take a few seconds.
A key ploy here is reigning in the social networking time and consolidating it so that I can be a bit more efficient. The same is true for most email as well. Expect responses in the early morning or late evenings.
Will it work? We’ll have to see. I sure hope so. If it does, it means that I can spend more time with the family, get more writing done, and start getting back into shape. My aim is to be successful at all three. I started this morning. I was up at 6am, did a 30 minute cardio workout on the elliptical machine, and as you can see, this post is appearing before 8am. Part of the reason I’m posting about the schedule is to help keep me honest.
Of course, I’m interested to know if anyone out there in the same boat has tips and tricks for how you manage to get it all done in a day? What’s worked for you?