Time Traps

My first week trying to adjust my schedule (as I discussed here) was a mixed bag. I think I’m on the right track, but the results weren’t completely satisfying.
•Getting up a half-hour later (and chopping a half hour off my lunch to compensate) works great. A much more relaxed morning which is a good way to start the day.
•I also tried shuffling my schedule around—a couple of hours of eHow, a couple of hours fiction, repeat—rather than lump all my fiction into one block. It seems much easier to stay focused that way and not get distracted. On the other hand, this week was mostly proofreading stuff—if I was writing an earlier draft, I wonder if breaking up the writing period won’t make it harder to concentrate. I’ll find out next week.
•Adapting to the unexpected—not so good. My blood donation Wednesday took longer than planned (my iron’s now good enough for a double-dose of red cells), I had to do an Internet errand for my Mum on Thursday and today I wound up fixated on a manuscript-formatting problem that dragged on and on (it shouldn’t have, but my mind just went blank). And each day, I wasn’t able to refocus and make up for lost time.
•My efforts to turn off work when the time comes worked pretty well. Scheduling my “to do’s” on the weekend went smoothly. Managing my evening time wasn’t quite as effective, but I’ve found if I take a break after I turn in my eHows for the day—medidate, have tea, watch some TV—it’s much easier to work on into the evening and not stress out.
As for specific accomplishments:
•I went over all of Brain From Outer Space so I have a clearer idea of where I’m going and I haven’t left too many plot-holes. Hopefully that will make the next few chapters easier.
•I submitted Original Synergy, my satire on conspiracy theories, to a new market.
•While I didn’t have time to send them off, both Tale Spinners and Number of the Least are ready to go.
•I read over And He Bought A Crooked Cat and found that my best friend and beta reader Cindy was right: The story opens with a character conflict and I never actually resolve it (I discussed matching endings and beginnings in this post). I revised it and I’ll give it another look next month.
Leave the World to Darkness looks ready to go, but I’m going to give it one more check next month.
•I paid my North Carolina income taxes. Not exactly something to celebrate, but the forms are slightly different from the 1040, so it took a while to figure out.
I don’t feel very productive after my slow day today (due to the formatting problem, a couple of minor projects got dropped) but as I see what I actually accomplished I feel much better.

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Filed under Brain From Outer Space, Nonfiction, Personal, Short Stories, Time management and goals, Writing

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