Tag Archives: time management

A Strategy for Reading and Writing

I’ve never really thought about having a strategy for reading and writing before. But with the kind of work schedule I have, I really need to think about it. 

First of all, for reading, I tend to only read while I’m taking the bus to and from work. I don’t always take the bus, though. I never get any reading done on my days off. So, I need to set aside time to read every day. I’m thinking 15 to 30 minutes is good. With that amount of time, I should be able to finish books faster than I have been. 

As for writing, any time I have alone could be a good time to write. But that’s not often. So, I’ll try squeeze in 15 minutes to write every day. That’s far better than I’ve done in recent months. 

Do you have a strategy for reading and writing? Share it in the comments below. 

Reading Strategy for July

After months of failure to read books, I need to make an effort to read every day in July. I need to finish some books!

When I lived in Japan, my reading time was also limited, but I made sure I read during my commute to and from work. I could easily sit down in the train and read for a few minutes. But I don’t get around by train now, and if I go by bus, the rides are usually too short to really concentrate on a book. If I go by car, I can’t read at all. So, I need to figure out how to read at home with so many people around.

I need to think of a strategy for reading. Here are my ideas:

  • Read in the bathroom. I can lock the door.
  • Read after everyone’s gone to bed. Best place for this is in the kitchen at the moment. Once the living room is finished and the den is tidied up, I can read in either room.
  • Read in my future office. Well, there is room on the floor to sit down at the moment… but not so comfortable. I need to wait for that to be fixed and cleaned up.
  • Go to the park. That’s fine for warm days, but I can’t do it on stormy days or winter. And I should stay away from ponds. Too many mosquitoes!
  • Read in the back yard. But there’s nothing to sit on.
  • Go to the library. Fifteen minutes of walking and I can read in the library. That’s right, bring my own book to the library.

I need to get some reading done! Any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.

Busy Two Weeks

From now on, I’m going to be pretty busy for the next couple of weeks. Twice, we’ll be going out of town to visit relatives. Both times will be overnight trips. But no need to worry, I’ll still be posting twice a day. That’s what’s nice about having a WordPress app on my phone. I can blog from anywhere.

January 1st is going to be very busy, and I won’t have any time to post Authors Answer myself, so I’ll be scheduling it for that day. I’ll be writing it up a couple days before and have it post automatically. The one for Christmas will go up as normal, since we’ll be home.

I’ll still be working some days, while others  have off. But I’ll be busy, mostly because of travel, eating and drinking with family, and occupying my daughter’s time (or she’s occupying my time). I’m wondering what to do for the Monthly Review. I can’t do it on time, so it’ll be late. I also can’t do the Weekly Review on January 2nd. I’ll have a big one on the 9th, then.

I also have a big idea for the new year, so expect something interesting after the holidays.

Are you busy over the next couple weeks?

Changing How I Read

It’s been a frustrating year for reading for me. I’ve only completed seven books this year, which is far behind what I did in the last two years. I feel like I haven’t been reading as much, yet I read at the same time and frequency as I did before. So why am I getting less read?

It could be because of the rather large books I’ve read this year. But my page count is also far behind. I can’t seem to figure out why it’s taking me so long to read each book this year.

Looking back before I was married, I read quite often in bed, on the train, during my breaks at work, but I read fewer books, as well. I’d go weeks without reading at times, too.  But this year, I’m not taking breaks, other than the last two weeks.

So, I’m going to try to change how I read. In addition to my commute and breaks, I’m going to read for a while every night before I go to bed. Maybe I can actually finish a few books by the end of this year. One thing is for sure, my reading schedule may be completely thrown out. One of the upcoming books I’ve been planning to read is now in Canada.

My Battle With a Three-Year-Old

My daughter is three and a half years old. Here she is in her silliness.

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Yes, that’s a little rubber duck on her nose. Suction is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Well, when she’s being silly, which is most of the time, her focus tends to be on me. And when I sit at the computer to type something, she usually decides that it’s time to climb on me, sit on me, or take control of my hands. That’s fine, except that since the weather has become cooler, she refuses to sleep until around midnight or one in the morning! By the time I get her to sleep and in bed, I’m too tired to do much of anything.

If you’ve noticed that I haven’t been replying to comments in a timely fashion, well, it’s because I’m in mortal combat with my threenager.  Thankfully, I have time to myself tomorrow morning, and I will get caught up.

I have a great post for tonight, if my daughter will let me write it.

Time Management

Writing takes a lot of time.  Every author probably spends a good portion of their day writing.  Many have a schedule they stick to and get a lot of writing done.

On the other hand, if you’re like me, you have a kid, lack of privacy, and limited time alone.  That makes time management very important.  I don’t really have much time to write, since I have little privacy when everyone is home, and I don’t have much time at home alone.  During those precious few hours each week, I do what I can, but sometimes I can’t avoid using the time for something else.

So, what do you do to manage your writing time, if you’re a writer?  I’d love to know how you do it.

What Having a Sick Child Does to My Writing

Today, my daughter’s nursery called me while I was at work.  They also called my wife.  She had a fever.  It’s now late evening, and she still has a fever.

Back in late April, she had her worst fever.  39.8 degrees.  She had a febrile seizure that night.  Two taxi rides and an ambulance ride (it’s a long story), a three hour wait in the emergency room, a spinal tap, a chest X-ray, and a CT scan later, we discovered it was pneumonia.  She stayed in the hospital for a week.  Well, I got no writing done that week other than blog posts related to her condition.

But now, she has a fever and is crying.  She won’t sleep.  I can’t concentrate on writing.  I’m not sure how well I’ll sleep, either.  I have to go to work in the morning.

On the other hand, she often does sleep when she has a fever.  I get more quiet times and more time to write.  When she’s awake, she’s usually active, but sometimes irritable.  Not much I can do during those times except try to entertain her.

It’s after 11 pm, and she needs to sleep.  She’s crying in her bed.  She won’t stay in our bed.  She tried getting out of our bed to come and see me.  It’s too late for her to be up, so I put her in her bed.  While she cries, I write this.  But her crying is becoming less.  Maybe she’ll sleep.  Or maybe I’ll hear another wave of crying.  She does that sometimes, crying on and off.

No writing tonight, except for this blog post.  I need to go to bed soon, anyway.

She’s quiet now.  Oh.  Sorry.  She just cried a little.  But I think she’ll fall asleep soon.  I hope.

Are you a parent of young children?  How do you balance your time between writing and your children’s demands for attention?

Arranging a personal schedule

Life with a baby can make it difficult to find time for everything.  Thankfully, my daughter is sleeping right now, so I can type this.  My wife is starting a new part time job, which will leave me to take care of the baby in the mornings before I go to work, as well as weekend evenings after I get home from work.  With luck, she’ll be sleeping or sitting quietly while I try do some things.

My other two blogs more or less have a weekly schedule for updates.  Jay Dee in Japan has a weekly iPhone photo series.  Foreign Dad in Japan is constantly being updated with baby development news and information.  This blog has the oneword.com writing challenge.  I haven’t been doing very well with it because I get sidetracked with the baby or I’m too tired at night to work on it.  Well, I’m going to start writing more for this blog starting now.

What I’m going to do is go to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier.  This should give me more time in the morning, as the baby often sleeps in the morning, but not so much in the late evening.  I will also try to get 30-60 minutes of reading in every night.  I’ve been reading so slowly lately because I’ve been so disorganised.  Hopefully, this will improve.  It better improve, because many of the upcoming books I have to read are quite long.  Well, I better get to work on it!