Give Me Just a Minute

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Have you ever come across those industrious writers—usually the ones who’re juggling upteen plates in the air—who recommend grabbing every little bit of time to write? 

You know who I mean…you’re waiting in the car line? Write! It’s intermission at the theater? Write! Sitting in the doc’s office, half-naked and shivering? WRITE! 

Yep, some writers just need a minute to get creative writing done. But not me. I need an hour of time I can commit to if I’m going to write anything more than a grocery list. Not that I haven’t tried but it’s just an exercise in futility. I need to know I’ve got a whole hour to relax into the process. Anything less and I’m in panic mode, rushing about and basically writing up a hot mess. 

But that doesn’t mean I can’t get other sort-of-writing tasks done in smaller increments of time. The same tasks that, once out of the way, free up my schedule to get that whole hour of writing in. For instance, give me thirty minutes and I can get a raft of research done! 

Say I need to check out author websites in my genre to see the standard; I can search three or four and take notes in thirty minutes. Maybe I’ve got an article on a subject that’s fuzzy on a detail or two. Give me a half hour and I’ll find specifics to support. Or maybe—which happens more often than I like to admit—I have a technology problem. In twenty minutes, I can hunt down and watch a video that’ll fix the glitch in a magical moment. 

What about fifteen minutes? There’s plenty I can accomplish in a quarter hour! I can read a newsletter (there are always a handful in my Inbox). And speaking of the Inbox, I can zip through my emails, tossing the ads that sneak through and maybe even quickly respond to a personal email. And beyond the Inbox, I can make a quick correction, whether it’s a blog post or a website error. I might even do a quick sweep in social media, given fifteen minutes. 

But maybe I have only five minutes to spare. If I’m watching a program, I’ll clean out my junk mail during a commercial. (Yep, I still watch regular TV with commercials.) And often, especially if I’ve been sitting for much of the day, I’ll walk around during commercial breaks, especially if I’m watching news. By the end of the newscast, I’ve done close to 20 minutes of brisk walking and I’m surprisingly rejuvenated for evening work that’s waiting. 

And sometimes, even if I just have a few seconds, I can get a task done. Today, I glanced at my To Do list on the kitchen table and realized I had an upcoming blog post here. That thought was floating around in my head until suddenly, in the seconds before I sprayed the cleaner on the floor and started to mop, I had this very idea about grabbing minutes for other tasks! So I grabbed a notepad and made a couple notes. I knew later in the afternoon, I’d have an hour to write. 

It’s all about time management, y’all. Give me a minute—or sixty—and I can get a whole lot of work done. (Except when I’m sitting in the doc’s office. Who can think when they’re half-naked?)


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top