Guest Blogger: Jennifer Slattery
Today I’d like to share a few ways to avoid time-sapping pitfalls while maximizing every moment for optimum productivity. In A Woman After God’s Heart by Elizabeth George, she talks about foregoing the good to find the better and foregoing the better to find the best. In writing, this means evaluating each moment in order to determine the best use of your time.
Organize your day around your creativity. For example, I need silence when I write. It took me a while to realize this, and initially, I went through my day following my to-do list without really evaluating each moment. As a result, I’d start with household chores and sometimes leave writing until the evening when my husband and daughter were home. Now I’m proactive about my schedule, making the most of my creative times.
Stay focused! This is a biggie and takes a bit of self-control. Especially if you have an iPhone that beeps every time you get a message or text. You might need to shut off your phone and disconnect your internet until your creative writing time is done. Here’s why…to write effectively, you need to immerse yourself in your work. Every time you pop out of story or book world to check an email, send a text, or pop in on Facebook, you’re breaking the flow. If you’re teetering between reality and story, you’re largely remaining on the surface of your creativity.
Watch out for the email monster. Between Gmail, Yahoo, and Facebook messaging, I’m always buried in emails. If I’m not careful, checking and responding to emails can take up a large chunk of my time. Now, I deal with emails at one set time. (I will periodically check my iPhone for important messages.) Knowing I only have so much time encourages me to skim and delete the unimportant ones.
Utilize every moment. I don’t watch television or movies because they don’t stir my creativity. (You may not be able to say the same.) Novels and books, however, show me strong writing and awaken my muse. Because of this, I read to relax. This means even when I’m relaxing, I’m learning. I also have projects and tasks that I can pick up whenever a spare minute arises. Let’s say I have five minutes between dinner and church each Wednesday. Five minutes a week over the course of a month equals just over a half hour.
I refuse to give in to writer’s block. When I hit a wall, I hit my knees. I believe God has called me to write and has a purpose in everything I write, therefore, I trust Him to give me the ability to follow through. (You can read more of my thoughts about this here in a post entitled, How Big is Your God.) And He’s been faithful. Every time. In fact, I start each day with prayer, laying out my responsibilities and asking God to help me fulfill them. If I hit a major block, I assume He’s asking me to spend more time with Him, so I do. The result has always been exponential.
What about you? Any time-saving tips to share?
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
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