The Best Strategies for Accomplishing Writing Tasks (or any other task)

Strategies to Accomplish Writing Tasks
previously posted on Contentedly Neurotic blog October 17, 2008


I’ve been lucky enough to attend a free online writer’s group this week. It’s called the Muse Online Writer’s Conference (Status Update: Defunct). As I write this, I’m still absorbing what I’ve learned and know there is much more learning ahead. Now that I’ve shared my joy, I’d also like to share some tips for finding writing time. These tips are best suited those who have little ones underfoot.

First, some of my ideas would not have seemed feasible to me when my kids were younger. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to get someone to bite on the old “I’ll watch yours if you’ll watch mine” deal when you have twins. That being said, I have personally used tips #1, #2, #3, and #6. I’ve heard of people who have had success with #4 and #5.

Tips to accomplish tasks (whether it be returning phone calls or, as is my case, writing).

1) This one is so obvious yet, as harried parents, we never follow it. When the children are in preschool, school, childcare, or under someone else’s care, tend to yourself or your work.

I would have liked to write more last year, but I used school days to volunteer and run household errands. Yes, it’s easier to get to the store without the children, but trying to write while they beg for attention doesn’t work. This is one of those ‘hindsight is 20/20’ areas. It would have been easier to write during school hours. Then run errands later.

2.) Use naptimes, bedtimes, and the all-important (fill in the child’s show of the moment) show time wisely.

Phone calls, writing, research, reading, data entry are much easier to do when the kids are occupied.

3.) Take the kids to story time at the library.

You can use the computers while the children are entertained for 30 minutes with a story (entertained by someone else other than you, woohoo).

4.)Swap one day a week with another mother for kid sitting.

Or better yet, appeal to the grandparents how much the kids love to spend time with them and set up a playdate with grandma & grandpa for a couple hours one day a week.

5)Plan an overnighter for your younger one.

Ask a favorite cousin, a close friend, or a relative to enjoy an evening with your child. Note: if it’s with a friend, you need to repay the favor.

Make full use of this one quiet evening as it may be a long time before you get this opportunity again.

6)This one is my personal favorite. Rather than save for a spa day, save for a hotel day.

With a pedicure/manicure combo averaging $100 with tip, you can get a hotel room for one night for nearly the same price. Two hours at the spa, or 20 hours of solitude?

Check in right at check-in time, enjoy full control of the remote, a long (and quiet) bubble bath, a clean room (that you didn’t have to tend to) and time to work on whatever your heart desires; writing, scrapbooking, napping, etc….

If you’re single, you may want to bribe a best friend to come sit with your children overnight, if you’re married give your hubby a great big smooch and let him know it’s daddy and kids time. WARNING: Make sure you go far enough that they won’t hunt you down and show up in your hotel room…..hmm, on second thought, you may not want to disclose your location. Desperation can lead a husband to travel great distances to find ‘mommy’. (Yes, I’m teasing on the warning, don’t flame me with what a horrible mother I am.)


About the author
Diane DeMasi is a freelance writer and author. As a freelancer she writes articles, blog posts, newsletters, web content, catalog copy, and more. As an author she writes dark, twisted, creepy short stories and novels.