Journal, Organization

Time

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 certain 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 simple. But because time is a finite resource being decisive is important. Once you know what you want–whether it’s a hobby or 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, takes a good deal of discipline, organization, and routine.

So, maybe the question I’m getting at is where this time comes from. 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 of time.

The problem is it’s easy to waste time. I could probably do with a little less televsion news myself. (Politics is just so interesting… or disconcerting, lately) When I do waste time–it’s usually intentionally–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

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Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Chapel Hill, NC. His short stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. He has ghostwritten novels and is the author of several children's books. You can learn more about him at justinmeckes.com or by sending an email to contact@justinmeckes.com.