writing

Budgeting Time

I had a conversation this morning about time, and learning things, and taking the time to learn stuff… We were discussing deep database management, and how sometimes when you are trying to do something on the software system, it doesn’t save properly, and what causes that (so she can keep it from happening again). I pointed out that sometimes I have issues here on the website if my host is doing things to the server in the background, but that there’s a reason I hire it out – I don’t know how to do it. “Why don’t you learn?”

Well, because as much as I am a voracious learner of any topic that catches my fancy, I’ve also (slowly and sometimes painfully) come to the realization that I do not have time to learn everything. Sitting on the porch with the First Reader last night plotting books, I was despairing of ever having the time to write everything I want to write. Learning database administration is… not high on the list of ways I plan to spend my time. I just got through 4 1/2 years of learning, mostly targeted toward the job I’m planning to be doing in a couple of years, with these first years spent doing just what I am doing – learning on the job. There’s only so much you can learn in the classroom and lab. Then you have to get out and actually do it.

I was chatting on facebook about my latest book, and cover, with a new fan who didn’t realize that I’m, um, busy. They were remarking on how hectic my life must be to juggle the writing, day job, art and design business, family, and photography. Not usually. Yes, I’m busy. There are days I don’t get it all done. There are definitely days my husband and First Reader has to put his foot down and say ‘too much, you’re doing too much…” which is why I’ll be hiring a professional to do taxes this coming year rather than doing it myself. Because I only have so much time, and I can’t spend it willy-nilly.

Just like with money, the first step in budgeting time involves prioritization. Figure out what is most important, and schedule that first.

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