Like most writers, I juggle writing time, promoting my published works, familial obligations, and a day job. And like most people on the planet, I like to have some down time to just breathe and be. Trying to do everything that I felt needed to be done often left me feeling like the proverbial hamster running on a wheel.
Deciding I hated feeling frazzled and exhausted by the time I fell into bed every night, I knew I needed to make a change. Something had to give or I'd end up with stress related illnesses that could have been prevented. Three Sundays ago I sat down and looked at an average day and how I spent each minute. I've always considered myself a person who was organized, sometimes to a fault. I realized that while I'm organized in terms of a place for everything and everything in its place, I'm not so great at organizing my time.
Determined to fit all those "must do's" into my day, I tried scheduling them instead of flying by the seat of my pants and thinking "I'll just fit it in." Each night before bed, I write my schedule for the next day. I block out time for the hours I'm at the day job, for writing, family, household chores, and exercise. Sundays are now computer free and writing/promo free days. It's my day to spend my time however I'd like and not think about what I should be doing. It lets me start the week fresh and stress free.
Although I've only been doing it for two weeks, I already feel a sense of accomplishment each night as I look at everything I've done that particular day. Having everything scheduled has allowed me to find the balance between writing/promotion and all of my other responsibilities. I realize there will be days that something unexpected comes up and will throw my schedule off, but I believe those days will be few and far between. And in the meantime, I'm less stressed and getting more done than I ever was before.