With NaNoWriMo on the horizon making time is crucial. And honestly I suck at making time for myself. I struggle with it in my personal and professional life. When someone tags me in a post I feel the obligation to respond immediately to the point where I actually walked out of a doctors appointment the other day to respond to posts. I felt as if I was failing if I didn’t give it my immediate attention. As soon as it was over I had a good talk with my doctor, clearly my boundary settings needed some work.
I’ve been getting better, but this incident was a step back for me. I’ve worked hard to pull myself out of my uber-people-pleaser phase and adapt a more healthy “the world isn’t going to end if I don’t answer this right now.” approach. So after some time thinking it over I went back to look at what I have been doing that is working for me, in hopes that with the oncoming storm that is NaNoWriMo I can be better prepared.
I’ve started letting people know ahead of time that I won’t be available during the day. Between all the stuff we have to do in our day it’s a wonder we get anything done at all. I know I’m not the only one out there with kids, husband, family, work, school, animals, health issues, etc. that all require my attention. The difference is that I used to put everything and everyone ahead of all of those things because I thought it made me a better person by bending over backwards for people. Now I realize that I can’t help anyone else if I don’t take care of myself first. And part of that is writing. It helps me, keeps me sane, and writing is a huge chunk of who I am. Even before I put that writing into books I was writing as part of planning my D&D games, writing out my own extensive lore for a campaign, writing back stories for characters, poetry, and short stories that were just for me to read. So I have to make the time.
This blog is a great example of how much more productive I’ve been. Before I would put off posting until the last minute because I was busy doing other things for other people (my kids, family, anyone and everyone) then at that last minute you know what would happen? Something else would come up, and my blog suffered for it. Now, for the past month or so, I’ve been fairly consistent in my posting and the blog has been a lot more active and I’m so grateful for that because I love being here.
Time sucks are also terrible for my productivity. Wikipedia, Facebook, Yahoo News. I get lost in those sites for hours. I’d like to say I’m a strong willed person, but that would be a lie. To help with that I recently cheated and got a Chrome extension to block certain sites *coughs* Facebook *coughs* during my work hours. So far that is helping as long as I keep my phone far from reach)
How do you make time for writing or your other priorities in life? Are you a people-pleaser? Do you use any website blocking software or extensions to help keep you on task?