Flexible life

I post a lot about time, productivity, and balance. I’ve even opined before that it’s really more a question of juggling than of balance. Why do I talk about it so much? Because, like most people, I have multiple facets of my life, and I want to have time for everything. (Well, almost everything. For the most part, I don’t care about having time for housework.) That means writing, working, and family. Oh, and crafts, cooking, volunteering, and exercise. And…

You see the problem.

Currently, what I’m trying to do is slip in some writing early in the day (usually before 10 or 11 because that’s how long I’ll putter if I sit down at the computer anyway), then work until it’s time for the kids to come home (and sometimes a bit after), and maybe squeeze in more writing in the evening while hanging out with the family. Is it ideal? Well, the fact that I have to “slip” and “squeeze” the writing in implies that it’s not the priority. I want to do it; I want to have it done. However, I also want to pay bills, so yes, paying work has to be higher up the ladder. And family? That bumps even the paying work a lot of the time.

So if I were to give advice on balancing your writing, day job, family, etc., I’d say: Know your priorities. Act in accordance. And above all, be flexible.

Yes, it means there are weeks I don’t get to the writing at all because I have to push to meet a freelance deadline. On the flip side, there are times the freelancing’s not nearly as pressing, and I can take a full day — or even more — to write during the week. And using tools like the 9 Things notebook makes sure I hit the big things each day, while Habit RPG helps me keep track of the little things that might otherwise get ignored.

How do you balance?

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “Finding a Life” — May’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out the next posts in the series, by Sandra Barret and D. M. Bonanno.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on first stories, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!

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  1. I don’t have the real time constraints you do as I’m retired and my child is in her 30’s. Here’s the but. I have volunteer constraints. I have social obligations. I garden. I walk/hike. So what to do? I make the time. Oh yeah. It’s easy to put everything else in front of writing/editing/modifiying. The simple answer? If I want to write. I will MAKE the time. 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour. Make the time.

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