Fun with Skedjools

Or shed-yools, if you’re feeling fancy. I’m not, particularly.

The kids are out of school for the summer! Hooray! I’m not going to get anything done! Hoor– wait a minute. Ack.

New challenge, then. I have a book to revise this summer. I’d like to have it out to beta readers by the beginning of September, which means I have a LOT of work to do in terms of re-writes and self-editing. I’m looking forward to the work. This story is rather exciting, and I hope that will help me focus.

But that’s hard with “Mom? Mom? Hey, Mom? Look at this! Mom? No, look again. MAAAAAA!!!” happening all day long. I need a plan. I need…

A SCHEDULE!

*groans*

I don’t do well with schedules. I’m easily distracted, and I procrastinate. Following a schedule feels like some kind of temporal/experiential oppression, and generally, I won’t stand for it. But if I want to have this thing out on time, I might need to make that sacrifice.

Hey. I got Bound out in spite of a flooded basement, an evacuation, and the destruction of my office. I can deal with a few kids for this one.

So why am I talking about it here? Because I need to be accountable to someone. Specifically, to you. I’m going to report back on this once a week or so. This could be inspiring, or just really entertaining for everyone but me.

Here’s a look at the schedule as I doodled it up a few nights ago:

20140628-194505.jpg

I can’t resist the siren call of glitter crayons. :/

Yep, that involves getting up early and working. I have no idea how this will work out. My brain already wakes me up between 6 and 6:30, but I usually doze a bit, day dream, plot noodle, and generally laze about until I have to get up. This plan involves, like… getting out of bed. And using my brain before 7:00.

Ick.

But my body clock also makes me crash by 10:30 most nights, anyway, so staying up late isn’t really a better option. Besides that, I have my biggest kid husband around a lot of nights, and I like to hang out with him when I can. He’s pretty cool. So this is what we’ve got.

In theory, this gives me 2-4 hours of working time a day (writing and social media), while still giving me time with the kids and time for housework and like… food and stuff. And adventures in the real world. That’s important.

—–

Schedule:

6:00 – wake up. Caffeinate.

6:20 – *write*

8:30 (approx) – kids up. Breakfast. Housework. Family stuff. Errands.

12:00 – lunch

1:00 – write (or social media promo stuff if the kids are around and not easily distracted)

3:00 – do stuff with kids

5:00 – supper prep, supper

7:00 – clean up kitchen, tidy, read with boys or on own

9:00 – kids to bed. Hang out with AJ or work if he’s not home

9:45 – prep notes for next morning’s writing

10:00 – bed

——

I’m hoping that few minutes of pre-bed prep will help me focus in the morning. Normally I have to spend an hour a few minutes finding my focus. I’ll let you know if this helps.

Added rules:

  • no e-mail before noon (so if you don’t hear from me, I’m not ignoring you!)
  • no facebook/twitter during work time (except for word sprints)
  • read at least 30 minutes per day

Obviously this is all subject to change. It is summer, which calls for spontaneous trips to the beach and the walking trail, overnight visits to the in-laws’, a wee vacation trip, and various other upsetters-of-schedules.

But I’m going to try.

Wish me luck.

Have any tips or tricks to share that help you get work done in the midst of distractions? How do you stick to a schedule without going insane? Please share!

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

25 responses to “Fun with Skedjools

  • Kat

    I’m completely the other way. I NEED a schedule, no matter how loose, to get through the day. Maybe because I’m used to working with one in daycare. Large groups of small children require regimentation. With space for spontaneity of course.
    I get up an hour before everyone else (usually around 6:30) so I can drink my coffee, check Facebook, read, whatever. Then it’s a pretty scheduled day. Outside play, homework time, free play, lunch, quiet time/naps, outdoor again, snack, play time/tv time until the kids go home. Then dinner, baths, bedtimes. Then if I’m still awake, writing. Once my kids are older I’m hoping to fit more writing time in, but for now, it’s a pretty full day.

    • Kate Sparkes

      That sounds horrible.

      Or wonderful, maybe, if I could wrap my head around it. I know I’d get a lot more done if my day looked like yours!

      • Kat

        The trick is to know when it’s okay to not follow the schedule and do something else instead. Like it’s going to rain today, so we’re off to the park in just a couple of minutes to enjoy the weather before it gets too hot to breathe. We’ll stay out until the rain hits. Homework and art can wait until after lunch.

  • Brenda Kidd

    Good luck Kate…I thought I was the “only Queen of Procrastination”. Lol….you can do it!!!!

  • Charles Yallowitz

    I went insane and just muscled through the distractions. For the rough patches where I’m not physically or mentally involved, I do another project that takes less focus like outlining or designing characters. I still recommend duct tape for the author with kids.

  • A Writer With Something To Say

    I know exactly what you mean about not being able to keep a schedule and being a procrastinator. Your new schedule seems very cool!

  • Gloria Weber

    8:30 (approx) – kids up.
    I envy you!!!!

    Remember how I was talking to you on Twitter about staying bed despite being up? Like I said, I’m up at 6-6:30am. Only, I’m not alone. Like 75% of the time, so is my son. If I leave my bed early, he starts roaming the house. It’s just a fight of wills and bladders that keeps him and I in our rooms until about 7. My daughter “sleeps in” and wakes at 7-7:15am.

    So, 8:30 makes me soooo full of envy. If I had that… I’d still waste it, though. πŸ˜‰

    Best wishes with your schedule!

    • Kate Sparkes

      That’s a approximate. Today they slept until 8:30, but yesterday I had company around 7:00. They’re staying up later now than they do during the school year, which SHOULD mean sleeping in, but it does’t always happen.

      “If I had that… I’d still waste it, though.” <- This made me feel better. πŸ™‚

  • Kat

    It just occurred to me that I should have brought my laptop to the park. We’re going to be here for at least an hour. I could have got a few words down. Oh well. Maybe next time.

  • Betty Audet

    Try explaining to the children. You may be surprised that they do partly understand and may try to help.

  • sknicholls

    When I was in nursing school and had care plans to do. I would pop corn and sit a huge bowl down in front of the TV with a tall pitcher of water and glasses, lock myself in my bedroom and have at it. I heard their screams, fighting over the remote, and other such nonsense, but ignored them.

  • Elaine Jeremiah

    I admire you very much for writing such a great schedule! Hope you can keep to it. I should probably do one myself but I’d probably never stick to it… Happy writing and I hope you can keep on track with this next book! πŸ™‚

  • Lori L MacLaughlin

    I’m at the making up a schedule stage right now. We’re having company next week and then the schedule will kick in. It actually looks a lot like yours, though I have one kid that gets up between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning. He’s gotten good at amusing himself quietly for a while which is great. The other one sleeps until 7:30. Good luck!

  • L. Marie

    I probably need a schedule and some glitter crayons. I can understand though the need to set practical boundaries so that you can get stuff done.

    I wind up reading at night (and sometimes falling asleep while reading).

  • ROW80 Update: Party Closet Edition | disregard the prologue

    […] are going well with my little schedule plan. Sort of. I’m doing really well with the whole “get up early” part.Β It’s […]

  • rachelalsowrites

    I love to make schedules, but…you know…life.

    Good luck sticking to it, I’m sure you’ll be fine!

    Also, shotgun beta reading if you’re looking for any!

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