Thursday, February 11, 2016

6 Ways to Manage Writing Time & Encourage Creativity

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

At what point do you have to step back and say, “No, I’m sorry, I simply can’t add one more thing to my calendar?” 

Truth is, I’m still trying to figure that one out. Christmas 2015 came and went in a blur. Then the month of January somehow passed me by. And now February is doing the same! 

As a writer, I can very easily spend all of my time in front of the computer. During the school day, I typically have from about 8:00AM – 3:30PM (and sometimes longer if everyone is working or hanging out with friends) to write without interruption. Time that I’m not doing something for my children or husband, etc., can be gone in the blink of an eye by the time I look up from my laptop. And while it’s productive (MOST of the time) writing wise, it’s not always productive “healthy” wise.

Time is flying at the speed of light and I’m trying to figure out what to do about it. But how can you slow down time? I’m not exactly sure, but I’ve been thinking about it. I came up with six ways to possibly get more enjoyment out of my day and to stop feeling like I’m a hamster on a wheel!

Here are the six things I thought might help.
  • 1. I want to make sure I spend time with God daily. Yes, I talk to God on a daily basis, but I don’t always listen. I need to make sure that I spend time just listening to him. When you’re going full speed ahead, it’s hard to listen to family members or friends, much less God.
  • 2. Set an alarm to remind you to stop and do something you like. Be creative. Do some Bible journaling or scrapbooking. Go outside and take the dog for a walk. (He’ll appreciate it!) Write someone a card thanking them for a kindness or just to them know you’re thinking about them.
  • 3. Clean something. When you’re cleaning, it’s a great time to talk to God—or maybe listen.
  • 4. Plan something to look forward to. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in anticipation of a trip or some fun, time always slows down!
  • 5. Set a timer for social media. If Facebook and other social media sites distract you and you find yourself losing track of time because you’re engrossed in other peoples’ lives, then limit your time on it.
  • 6. Say, “No.” Now, it okay not to be rude about it, but it’s also okay to be firm and mean it. When someone wants to add something else to a calendar that’s already overflowing, implement that beautiful word, “No.” I’ve never been very good at it, but I’m learning! I love Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. I could so relate to just about every single word in that book. She talks about how we often say “yes” to things we should say “no” to. Not because they are bad things, but because they’re not the “best” things. I really like that because I want to have the time in my schedule to say YES to the things that I really want to do!

Will these six things work? It’s possible. I’m going to make a conscious effort to give them a go and see what happens. Time might still fly, but at least I’ll be a little more aware of the world and people around me while it’s flying by—and maybe I’ll touch someone in a way that they needed because I took the time to write a card or send an email or a thoughtful text. Who knows? 

What about you? Does time get away from you? What do you do about it? I’d love to hear more ideas on slowing down time!

TWEETABLE
6 Ways to Manage #Writing Time & Encourage #Creativity - @LynetteEason on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of over thirty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Carol Award in 2013 and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in 2014. She began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring, that’s for sure! Lynette can often be found online at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason @lynetteeason on Twitter, and www.lynetteeason.com.

10 comments:

  1. Hey, Lynette! Thanks for your post. Very good advice!!

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  2. One thing I have tried to train myself to do is say, Let me pray about it. And then actually pray about whether I'm supposed to do it or not. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! I do pray about stuff, too, but sometimes I just know I'm supposed to say no! LOL

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  3. In the 70's, Alan Lakein wrote a great book called "How to Get Control of Your Time & Your Life." I treasure my autographed copy. His concepts & principles are as true now as then - only the opportunities for what he called "timerobbers" are far more prevalent today. He spoke of the 80/20 rule, declaring that 80% of our activity options are timerobbers because they seem urgent or simple, yet by our own definition are less important than the other 20%. In a nutshell, we choose urgency or expedience over importance. I fight timerobbers as much as anyone, but what inroads I've made have come from being able to see certain events, activities, tv programs, and (this is awful) time with certain people as time thiefs. We all seem to fight this common dragon & seek our sweet spot. Thanks for a good read.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Jay! I like that word, "timerobbers". Very fitting. :)

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  4. I recently said, "No," to an event. The world didn't come to an end. Several people asked me if I was attending. I told them, "No, sometimes it's just too much." The last few months of high-stress situations made it necessary to pull back and rest. If I don't take care of myself, I won't be able to take care of those who need me.

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  5. Great advice. I love the idea of setting a timer for social media. I easily get caught up in that. My best friend has a saying, "'No' is a complete sentence." I need to heed her advice as well as yours. Thanks for these ideas.

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  6. Thanks for the great advice. Always appreciate your insight.

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  7. I love this advice! Thanks for your insights! <3

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