Saturday, October 5, 2013

Managing Your Time

So how good of a manager are you? I bet your better than you think. You set the alarm clock Monday through Friday, unless you're lucky and don't need to work. Even so, every day comes along and you decide how much time you're going to spend doing whatever. Common household things need managing every day - dishes, laundry, and meals to name a few of the most basic. For those of you who have a yard, that too needs some management. Somewhere in there time to write is squeezed in.

At home, I manage all of the above, but as my husband concentrates more on his chair and computer games, I've taken on more of the outside chores. Picking up things that might become lost under a snowfall is paramount this time of year. I also have taken on more of the managing of the boats, though I insist on my husband's help for some of that. Not really because I need the help, but to get him out of his chair more. Managing the boats involves keeping them bailed if it's raining and if they're in the water. This time of year, the boats are high and dry with their plugs pulled so bailing isn't an issue, but they still need some managing. In preparation for winter, they need to be cleared out of their summer clutter and the seats need to be covered. So I make a trip down there every day, mostly because I like the walk and I like watching the river do whatever it's doing - every year is different, but in the process I work on getting things ready for winter.

Here in the yard there's the generators to manage. We run a 3000W when we're running the freezer and then switch to a 1000W later in the evening after the freezer cycles. Every day around noon I go out and fill both then start the big one. Sometime shortly after dark, we switch over to the smaller one. When winter comes to claim us in full, our freezer will be moved outside where it won't need to be ran quite so often - saves gas.

For the winter, I've taking to sitting down at my computer first thing (with a cup of coffee, and maybe after lighting a fire as it gets colder). This time is dictated by the life of my computer's battery so I spend most of it writing, or at the moment editing for a friend. Sometimes I need to look something up so I turn the internet on. Of course such a move generally leads to checking emails and then ultimately Facebook. When my battery is used up, it's time for outside chores until sometime after the generator is started. By then the chaos of the day is too much for writing so once I'm on in the PM, I'm usually on until I start yawning, though sometimes the internet gets boring enough that I can get off and do a little reading. I have a book on my kindle going and a book on my computer, both written by friends. 

Summers, especially next summer, things will be different. At work I take care of the cabins and rooms. At my old job it was much the same with the addition of managing the garden and yard. There is no garden or yard to manage at my new job but I'm going to do some sprucing up anyway. There's not nearly enough flowers or grass there - and no, by the time I'm done, there won't be any more work involved than normal.

The changes I needed to refine was my time during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I now work the dining room during those times, something I seldom did before, so I needed to time myself through the rest of my day in order to be at a certain point at the right time. Fifteen minutes per cabin means I have an hour to get the downriver cabins done. The rooms are smaller and closer so another hour means I can get the rooms done and give the dining room a touch-up most days. Next summer it is my goal to get the other four cabins finished before lunch too, which means I am going to need to see where I can pare down some time just a bit.

After lunch clean-up, I finish whatever needs doing in the cabins and then I have about three hours or so to myself. Last summer, I spent most of that time napping, but it looks as though this coming summer I may not have a hidy-hole for that. My going back and forth to work means someone else can use the housekeeper's cabin. I might find me a corner somewhere though - time will tell. As it stands now, I'm planning to take my computer with me every day. At the very least, I can do my advertising at this time, but I'm also planning to get in some writing. Afternoons are very quiet since most everyone takes a nap during that time. I think the time spent writing would be nearly as restful as taking a nap, though given an empty guest cabin, I'll be catching a wink or two too.

So the management of my time is a learning experience, and I am constantly trying to refine it. Finding a place where I can squeak in some writing time is important to me. Plus, wonder of wonders, even though nearly all of the clientele of this lodge is Swiss, they are buying my books. Who'd'a thunk?

How do you manage your time to write?


William Kendall said...

My tendency is knowing when I'm in the right frame of mind to write, and then I fit it in, usually in the evenings.

Marlene Westendorf said...

I am such a list person. I think I would spin off into infinity and beyond with out one.