Happy Labor Day to my American readers and happy Monday to my international readers! I hope your week is off to a good start!
Flying Home will resume tomorrow, but due to the long weekend, I felt like doing a different kind of post. Participating in two wrimos back to back this summer created a crash course in time management for me and I want to share something I learned that has helped me use time to the best advantage.
We all have to wait or find ourselves with less time than we’d hoped for in which to complete certain tasks. I used to consider a spare five or ten minutes not nearly long enough to accomplish anything meaningful. But I’ve noticed this summer that if I find even a small task to work on in only five minutes, I can accomplish more than I expected.
Have you ever timed yourself to discover how much writing you can do in five or ten minutes? I hadn’t until I participated in word sprints this June and July. I reached several hundred in just a few minutes. I know that doesn’t sound impressive, but if you consider all the five minute moments in your day, it can affect your word count in a very positive way. You can also work your way through plotting and outlining a scene or two in that amount of time. Thanks to mobile devices with writing apps like Pages or Google Docs, taking a few minutes between other things in your day can be more productive than you expect.
Five minutes can allow you to read a few pages of a book, straighten a room in a very basic way, clear your email, fit in stretching or a quick burst of exercise. A five minute walk outdoors is extremely refreshing. I can organize my desk, balance my checkbook or water the plants in five minutes. Making a to do list with short term things as well as those that take longer helps me get more done. There is no such thing as dead time when you look at every part of your day as usable and valuable!