Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Unexpected Company and Time Management

In January I did a post on New Year's resolutions and my own goals to better manage my time. Well, I've accomplished a couple of things:

First of all, I've dedicated the hours between 8am and 5pm as "writing time" so as to better mesh with my family's schedule. I do take one hour out of my day to go work out (another thing on my resolutions list) and I usually quit working around 4:30 so that I can actually cook a dinner that doesn't suck. Well, doesn't suck too bad. I've also been tapering off on my on-line activity throughout the day. In the few months leading up to the release of Shaedes of Gray, I was on line A LOT. Like morning till night. My face was in front of the computer screen until I went to bed. Needless to say, this sort of agitated the hubs as he was beginning to feel like the "other man" in a torrid love triangle composed of me, him, and my laptop. And whereas my laptop is very sexy, I realized that I needed to step back and take a break. Self promotion is really important and I want to be visible and accessible. But I don't want my family to feel neglected, either. So, since January 1st I've been right on track: My writing has been WAY more productive, I get more done during the day, I'm cooking semi-edible meals, and I'm spending time with the fam in the evenings. 

So what could I have possibly not factored into my marvelous time-management schedule? Um... cleaning my house. I live in a small town and my house is sort of out in the middle of nowhere. I don't usually get surprise guests, but every once in a while, one of my friends will stop by. I think unexpected company is one of those things that sends a writer into a state of panic. As soon as you answer the door, you realize that you're wearing a t-shirt (which may or may not be clean), yoga pants (or the dreaded baggy sweats), your hair is a mess (and probably dirty), and your house (Holy shit! I forgot I even lived here!) looks like a pack of wild animals has been living there for the past few months. So, I mumble a few apologies for the mess, try to straighten up the 72 notebooks, paperbacks, day planner and 12-pack of Coke Zero that surrounds my laptop (which happens to live on my kitchen table), and then realize in a heart-stopping moment of panic that both of my bathrooms are completely disgusting. And after a well-masked panic attack and several mini strokes, the unexpected company leaves and I'm left realizing that there was an epic flaw in my time-management plan: Upkeep. 

So it's back to the drawing board. Mixed in with the writing, reading, social networking, cooking, and spending quality time with the fam, I need to add: cleaning house and self so that we are both April fresh in the event that unexpected company stops by to my list. I'm pretty sure I can block off an hour or so in my day for said upkeep. But I'm not making any promises. ;)

For the record, I Google searched "dirty house" for some funny image to plug in to this post, but the images the search gave me literally made my stomach turn. Plus, I didn't want you guys to think the pic was what my house actually looked like! ;)


Sarah Bromley said...

Hee! You can always tell what stage a manuscript is in by the writer's house and appearance. Right now, both of mine are a hot mess.

But can I say just how excited I am to see your books in the store and know that more are coming?

funny in the 'hood said...

I am proud of you for prioritizing so well. I have been online way too much lately and my husband and kids joke about taking away my laptop. Sigh. I'm going to adopt your habits and see if my writing becomes more productive; my guess is that my word count will rise and my Internet activity will go down.

As for the house, at least you live in the country. I have way too many people stopping by mine. Hopefully everyone is used to the mess (and my crazy hair when I neglect to run a brush through it!).


Jennifer Hillier said...

It's hard to be April fresh, yo! Our careers are just pushing us to be messy and gross and scattered. :)

Time management is hard for me, too. I'm trying to keep to a day schedule but it's really difficult when my best inspiration comes at night.

Laura Diamond said...

Time management is an ever evolving saga...