Working smarter?

I came home from work today, still shattered from yesterday’s visit to Legoland (which was great fun, by the way) to discover that the cat had been sick at various points around the living room.

So, first things first, clean that up, then get dinner cooking. Take the wheelie bin back to the garden – then Josh arrived back with my Dad. He’s still excited from yesterday as well as getting back home and finding me there already. Then my mobile phone starts ringing, but I can’t find it in my bag before it stops – mainly because I’m being whirled around by Josh. When I get hold of it, I try to call back, but can’t because the other end’s engaged (leaving me a message). When I do get through, and it’s mum to tell me that Dad is bringing Josh back – which I’d kind of gathered by this point.

Josh doesn’t like me talking on the phone – or rather he does because he can be very naughty knowing that my attention is diverted elsewhere. I’m trying to listen to Mum while Josh is pulling my clothes, screeching like a monkey and giggling.

Then he wants to play mummies – the bandaged, un-dead sword-wielding kind, obviously. He picks up his sword, whirls it around his head rather theatrically and brings it crashing down on my knuckle, which immediately swells into a nice purple lump. Ow.

And I’ve been home for all of 10 minutes. And that’s pretty average, actually – give or take the bruised knuckle.

But it made me think that maybe I’m going about writing the novel the wrong way. Trying to do a little each night is not the way to do it because there is too much going on each night to be able to focus – and it is so obvious that I can’t believe that I didn’t see it before.

Say I aim to write from 9:00 to 10:00, four evenings a week. Some of that time will be spent ‘getting into it’ – probably between 10 to 20 minutes depending on what I feel like. Then there might be interruptions such as a phone call or Josh coming downstairs – which could eat up another 15 minutes. So that means that out of my hour, I could lose up to 35 minutes. If you average that out at 22 minutes over a week for each 4 hours writing time, I lose around an hour and a half.

Also doing a bit each night means that I have other things to get done afterwards, so part of my mind is always focusing on the next task.

But say I decide to only write twice a week, but write for 2 hours instead – from 9:00 to 11:00 – then I only lose three quarters of an hour (two lots of 22 minutes warming up/inturruptions). And I can focus on just doing writing for that evening because I will more time during the rest of the week for general admin tasks.

So, in theory, I should be more productive by trying to write a little less often.

Hasn’t necessarily worked out quite like that tonight. I decided tonight would be a night off because I could do with an early night – caught up with Daunt and Dervish on BBC7 listen again. But I got sucked into surfing the net afterwards, so no early night!


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Filed under Children, Motivation, Self sabotage, Time, Writing

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