Realizing time is your most important resource will automatically make you a time management pro. Unfortunately, before this realization occurs, all your time management attempts are in vain.
I moved to Sweden 3 years ago to look for a job. Unemployment is rampant in Kenya and I had previously moved to other countries to find human resource work. In October 2013, I was really struggling with learning the language and was antsy to still make some type of contribution.
I choose what came most naturally and easy to me; writing. I started a blog in early 2014 but a famous Kenyan author checked it out and told me he wanted me to write books. I had no idea what that entailed but a seed was planted.
This April, I decided to author several books which would most likely be self-published. I was still jobless; had no money, but lo and behold I had plenty of time.
A successful, prolific writer is a time management expert. The way they look at time is not the same way every other person does.
“You must protect your writing time. You must protect it to the death.” screenwriter William Goldman.
Tim Grahl, the book marketing guru, asked writers what their biggest challenge was and they said it was finding time to write.
I realized that having time was going to be my competitive edge. I was unknown, had no money, had no connections, no platform, but lots of uninterrupted time. Time to write, time to study self-publishing, time to master the Amazon machine, time to learn from writers I admired and looked up to, time to listen to the millions of webinar and podcasts available to authors, time to master book marketing.
My habits changed without me coaxing them to.
I stopped my TV show addiction. I would binge watch shows like Greys Anatomy before. I haven’t watched that show for so long but know McDreamy died. I haven’t seen Game of Thrones, Downtown Abbey; don’t follow Scandal as well as many other popular shows.
I stopped watching movies as well. I was a serious movie buff before. I’ve not even seen Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years A Slave and the way I totally adore her.
I don’t play any video games or games on my phone. I’ve never played Candy Crush Saga.
I like to talk a lot and would spend copious amounts of time on the phone. I am now very conscious of the time I spend on the phone and know which of my friends talk for thirty minutes versus those who talk for ten minutes.
I don’t chat endlessly with people on Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. Especially if it’s impromptu.
I plan my days the night before to keep me from wasting time and say no to many activities that are unplanned, spontaneous and unscheduled.
I partake in fewer socializing activities. I select the people I will spend my time with so when I have a coffee or dinner with someone, it’s totally worth it.
I am single and in my 30’s and would obsess about my future husband and join a trillion dating sites to try and find this person. I stopped that…..it became too time consuming. All fear of ending up alone has been overshadowed by the fear of selling less than 250 books (the average a nonfiction book sells per year according to Tim Grahl)
Al I have is time and treat it with delicate care and attention.
My days are spent listening to webinars, reading, researching, writing and editing guest posts which have a rainy chance of being rejected, keep going after being rejected, study, study and study self-publishing, going to church, the gym and spending time with my few friends. That’s it.
Gosh, writing about it makes me seem so cold…but I’m always freezing in Sweden so maybe the weather has something to do with it!
Nyakarima King is a soon to be published author. Sample her writing on her website www.nyakarimaking.com and connect with her on Twitter @nyakarimaking.