A Prepublished Novel in the Process of Revisions and Rewrites

Friday, January 16, 2009

Time Management Part Two: Balance and Valutizing

It looks like we've got a good start on time management planning. And it seems a good time of the year to bring this subject up as well. By the comments and responses I've gotten so far, you're all on the same page and have even brought the subject up within your own blogs. So... what more can we say on the subject?

The answer is...


I've got this nifty and very helpful book that I'd bought years ago called Time management for Busy People written by Roberta Roesch. I will be quoting this book a lot. And yes, I borrowed the word valutizing from Roberta just in case you are wondering. Her thought was we are over hearing the term 'prioritize' so she made up a new improved term for getting better balance in your daily efforts to get things done.

Okay, moving right along. Here's what we've got:

Catherine: Chaos rules and the loudest noise gets my attention. Most of the time that noise is my kids, but when they aren't home it is my in-box. So in short, my house is messy, my butt (OMG I can't believe I'm saying this here) is one whole size bigger than last year! Ouch... Balance.
So, I'm in, Dayana. I'm making a point to exercise daily. I'm Not spending countless hours on-line chatting. In fact, I've turned off IM until my "to do" list is done for the day. I'm even sitting on an exercise ball as I write this because my bad back needs all the help it can get.
I like the spread sheet idea. I'm just afraid mine will take up a whole wall. LOL.

Catherine brings up two very good points, in my humble opinion. One, distractions! Whether it be kids, pets, IM's, spouses, or email. These are all going to be around no matter what we do. You can't ignore the kids or the dog scratching on the door to go out, nor the cat walking back and forth across the keyboard, and you certainly can't ignore Mr. DH who may just want to have some fun, *winks* So what to do? Set aside time where you stipulate, and I repeat--you must be firm in your stipulation--DO NOT DISTURB! This is your time. Turn off the IM as Catherine says, do not answer or even look at your email/inbox. Go to a quiet place, whether it be a different room in the house or off site if you can't get alone time at home.

Michelle: I can agree with Catherine (love the video blog, by the way)because chaos has a way of making the best laid plans go splat. I'm a list maker. Spreadsheets could work for some, but the simple daily list on a bright piece of paper, of course, sets the mood for a quick cross-off! Like all of us, I wear many hats in one day. I try not to stress by making the list too long, or else I angst over not accomplishing all I set out to do. Housework is very low on that list ;)

This is another very good point! And this is one of the first thing Roberta stresses in her book. Don't make your list too long. You want a sense of accomplishment not a sense of failure. Every thing you tick off the list is another thing accomplished so be realistic with your daily goals. And, Michelle, I will say I am right there with you on household chores, LOL

Beth:I'm a list maker. I use post it notes for both everyday life and writing. I like crossing things off. I usually end up with one thing that I never get to but I'm okay with that because I've usually completed 5 other things.

I've moved to a computer software (AnyTime Organizer) calendar. I can write more information into each activity than in a paper calendar. And you can print out several different views (month, week, day each in multiple formats).

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd like to know more about this software you discuss, Beth. Can you post a link or how we can check this out?

Also, getting back to a sense of accomplishment, Beth re-enforces this point for us. Crossing things off that 'To Do' list is such a great feeling. And so what if you end up with one or two things left over. Put them on tomorrow's list and handle them first.

Anne:Love the planner idea--I do a daily but a weekly, I think, would give me a better overview. And designating "marketing days" would help to keep me focused on writing the other days. Thanks for the tips!

A weekly planner is very helpful. Roberta goes into great detail on this. Sit and map out everything you would like to accomplish in a week. Valutize these items then plan your days. Be sure to schedule time for everything you want to accomplish in both your journal, weekly planner and then a daily list or calendar. This will help you keep everything in order and give you greater satisfaction when you see things ticked off your list.

Make every minute count. Multitasking is a wonderful thing, as well. I will sit down at the computer to either update my blog or website and do the wash as well. Or like now, I am doing menial chores around the house while I do this blog post. This accomplishes more than the blog post or the chores but also gets me up and moving around so my derriere will not spread from sitting on it all day. Here that Catherine and Michelle?? LOL Do a bit of exercise and stretch every so often while doing computer work or writing, editing whatever keeps you on your butt:)

Skhye:With the other chores of life, I just keep a pile of stuff by the door on the way to the car... And I swing by everything coming and going from kiddo activities. I was like this before baby. But the gasoline crisis last year really forced me to "remember" to get everything accomplished on one trip. That pressure helped me get back in the swing of things since an army of diapers and bottles invaded life.

IMPORTANT: I LEAVE MY ALPHASMART IN THE CAR. It's like American Express. I never leave home without it.

Excellent points, Skhye. And yes be sure to have that portable word processor, what ever type you may utilize, with you wherever you go. You never know when the muse with hit or you'll see something you just need to jot down. An image or idea.

Something to consider and comment on:

What creates wasted time in your day? What things can be avoided or scheduled to be handled at a specific time so you are not interrupting your scheduled time for other things? An example would be hearing that ever present "You've got mail..."



  1. My husband creates wasted time. He's too needy and I wish he would get a hobby!

  2. What wastes my time most is the Internet. My time is also wasting if I don't have a purpose when I wake up. I find that I accomplish the most when I set daily writing goals and follow a routine. So the routine will be: wake up, check email while drinking coffee, dress and go for twenty minute walk (weather permitting). Begin writing. Do not go on Internet. Do not stop except for one twenty minute break on exercise bike while watching Regis & Kelly. Then back to work until at least five pages are done. Afternoons can be spent on errands, promotion, or play depending on what else needs to get done. For schedule keeping, I use an At-A-Glance monthly desktop planner.

  3. Here is a link to the software:


    A few years ago at staples, I picked up a cheapy version ($9.00) for personal use. After one year of tracking in one of the standard paper calendar sets, I decided I liked the computer version and always had it on hand when I wrote.

    So as a business expense, I went with the deluxe and splurged. It prints as a pdf and you can print in multiple formats and create your own customized (colors and fonts) templates.

    I'm big into being distracted by the internet....but am trying to designate certain times of the day as internet free time. :)

  4. Thought you'd be interested at a meeting today I heard two speakers on setting writing goals for 2009. They talked extensively about time management, lists, spreadsheets, et al that you highlighted in your blog, Dayana. I felt right on top of things! This appears to be a hot topic right now. How did you know we'd all be trying to organize ourselves this January ;)

  5. Oh goodness, Mary. You and me both. If you find a hobby for your hubby let me know what it is.

    The internet - hands down - is my biggest time buster. I need to schedule the time on and off of it.

  6. Evening! I have to agree with you all. The husband(Mary and Catherine*grin*) and the internet do take up a lot of time. Some wasteful, some not so, LOL I am going to really push myself to schedule internet time along with email correspondence. It really does take a lot of time to answer emails. And I find I'm very easily distracted when I see my mailbox has new mail. Rest assured my email will be off when I delegate writing time.

    In response to you Mickey, yes I do believe being a brand new year that many of us make every effort to regroup and attempt to reorganize our lives. I always start the new year fresh and of course slip back into old habits but the idea is NOT to allow this:)

    Beth! Thank you for the link. I will be checking out this software as I am sure some other of our bloggers will.

    Seems we all on are the same page where our time waste is and I know we're all going to correct that starting...

    NOW! right? LOL

    Great discussion. Thank you all for participating.

    Have a wonderful rest of the weekend. Me? I'm going to go take a nice long relaxing bubble bath.