By Alina Chase
Partitioning both your time and thoughts will help you enjoy more productive writing time—and may help you find more of it.
The benefits of partitioning time, focusing on one and only one task at a time, may be more obvious when you think about non-writing activities. Like texting while driving. Like shampooing a cat while trying to convince your boss over the phone that you’re hard at work on that proposal. Like wandering inside to take a cool shower while homemade kabobs burst into flames on the grill—objective not accomplished, and now who’s going to clean up the mess?
So when you finally set aside an hour to write, why are you also checking email, responding to texts and keeping an eye on whatever’s on TV? A few minutes here and there eat away at both your writing time and creative focus. So eliminate disruptions and mental clutter! Decide what you want to do now, and give whatever that is all of your attention.
If you’re not going to do something now, don’t think about it now. When you leave work, forget about work. And when you finally find time to write, just write.
And as I switch gears from writing to not burning tonight’s dinner, I’ll leave you to ponder this quote from a very funny book:
Like the good Reverend King
I too “have a dream,”
but when I wake up
I forget it and
remember I’m running late for work”
Paul Beatty, The White Boy Shuffle