In a Timely Manner

14 Aug

For years, I’ve been trying to figure out my peak writing time. First I had to figure out if I was a morning or a night person. I did know that I could vacuum or do some time on the treadmill at about eight or nine in the evening, so I thought I must be a night person. It didn’t take my husband long to realize the vacuum noise interfered with television, not to mention a peaceful evening. Yet, since I’ve grown older I find that my body has been telling me that later in the day it’s tired and work should be put if off until tomorrow.

Every day, my husband can get up at about five or six in the morning and get a lot done. It definitely is when he has the most energy and I admire all he can get done so early in the day. When I don’t have to get up for work, I like to sleep in until seven or eight and still my muscles are “cold” until I move around, not unlike Frankenstein walking across the room. The truth of the matter is that my husband and I are on different shifts, when he starts to slow down, my energy starts to pick up. I guess that can be useful when you’ve got tons to do, otherwise it can be a problem.

Now at work, things are different. I know I have to give my employer one hundred percent throughout the work day, but like to start off slowly by reading emails before I get physically busy with the day. I usually sag at mid-afternoon, but nothing a Snickers bar can’t fix. So, looking at my work day doesn’t tell me precisely when my peak hours are.

We all understand that things have to happen during the day, whether you have a job, children, or parents to attend to. Many things don’t wait for your best time of day. If you’re lucky, you tend to your family when you have energy. So, what’s left? Yes, a small fraction of your energy is sometimes all you have left for the something else you’d like to do, in my case writing.

I have found success writing while working full-time by writing right after dinner for about an hour, then I join my family for the rest of the evening. After dinner, with some fuel in me, I’d grab the last bit of energy in the day to write. When it worked well, I took most of the weekend off.

Since I’m semi-retired now, I have come to know my peak time of day for writing. It is between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm. Ideas come to mind easier and it’s plainly not such a chore to put words on paper. I do take advantage of this time of day when I can, but things still get in the way.

Recently, we decided to move. During the process of unpacking, I missed writing and decided to be part of a 100 words a day challenge. Even though I had company in and out, too, I did get the writing done in the last part of the day, just before I headed to bed. The ideas did flow, I beat my scores from the last time I’d participated, but I didn’t have the extra energy to check details from my research. I’d do that later, I told myself.

So, I guess the moral of the story/blog is if you wait until your peak time to write, you may never get anything written. Take my advice and get your butt in the chair sometime during the day or night. It will all work out in the long run.


8 responses to “In a Timely Manner

  1. Janis

    August 14, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    Nice post, Mary. BTW, so happy you’re back in the valley. I know I’m a “very” morning person. I’m pretty much fully awake when I open my eyes. However, I hit the wall at 3pm. I try to have a granola bar or something quick then.

    • Mary Vine

      August 14, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      Well, thanks for welcoming me back, Janis! I thought maybe you were a morning person, because you comment on blogs early.

  2. Liz Fredericks

    August 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Thanks Mary – The ‘directly after dinner’ model sounds good and a nice compromise with everyone who complains we ‘disappear to write’. Perhaps it’s also a way to get someone else to clean up after dinner. Bonus!

    • Mary Vine

      August 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      Great idea on having someone else clean up after dinner.

  3. Carley Ash

    August 14, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Trying to write with a full-time job is a huge challenge for me, especially during times with the full-time job demands more than full-time.

    • Mary Vine

      August 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      You’re in the majority there, Carley. I still like the saying that if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.

  4. Clarissa Southwick

    August 16, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    This is great advice, Mary. I think the fact that I’m commenting a day late and at 2 am is probably all I need to tell you about my time management skills. I try to write when I’m most alert and read, critique, and answer emails when my brain is tired.

    • Mary Vine

      August 16, 2011 at 8:38 AM

      Oh, that’s good advice, Clarissa!


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