I tend to believe there’s not enough time in a day. I’m not always right about things, but, in this case, I’m sure I am. There’s not enough time to pursue all of my interests. I have a full-time job, and I write. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else.
I’ve made writing a priority because becoming a full-time writer is my main goal. I’ve made that my goal because writing gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Therefore, I make time for it even though I have a full-time job.
Figuring out what to give your time to is not always a straightforward process. But because time is a finite resource, being decisive is important. Once you know what you want–whether it’s a hobby or a new career–a few things are required: discipline, organization, and routine. (Some may claim they need a muse, but I tend to avoid giving inspiration over to the mystical.)
Consider learning to play piano for a moment. Unless you’re a virtuoso, you’ll need to spend time learning how to read music and take even more time to practice. Practice, in particular, requires a good deal of discipline, organization, and routine.
So, maybe the question I’m getting at is where we find the time. I believe it’s a simple matter of time management, which I’ve had to take to an extreme at times. I’ve scheduled 15 minutes increments for my mornings and nights during periods involving deadlines. Warning: This can be a bit daunting for extended periods.
The problem is it’s easy to waste time. I could probably do with a little less television news myself. (Politics is just so interesting… or disconcerting, lately) When I do waste time–it’s usually intentional–I try to tell myself it’s for the sake of relaxation. Yes, I’m saying that I have to force myself to relax.
It’s advisable to look at time as a precious resource–as a commodity. I try to treat it as one by using it thoughtfully. Schedules–even when they are flexible–are an absolute necessity for me. I plot out days and prioritize the projects I hope to complete. And, whenever possible, I try to turn my schedules into routines.
Photo: Eder Pozo Pérez