Picking up from yesterday…….
The next change I made really drove up my productivity. It all started a few months ago when I saw a job ad for an editor in the corporate office of a well-known business, an office that just happens to be 10 minutes from here. I had all the requirements, including a journalism degree, but the job only paid $10-12 an hour. I debated about the job, but not for long because it was quickly snapped up. (Shows how bad the economy is!) But I got to thinking about it and realized that if I devoted regular hours to my writing, I could earn more than that and wouldn’t have to leave home or buy new clothes. 🙂
So I began having regular business hours for my writing. Each weekday I’m holed up in the office (doors closed) writing from 1-5 pm, with a brief break at 3 for a cup of tea. (While I’m in here, my husband is with our son, who cannot be left unattended.) During these hours, I do not check email. In fact, I don’t go online at all unless I’m fact-checking something. I don’t do any business-related work either. Nor do I run down to the basement and start a load of wash, or quickly make something and throw it in the oven for dinner. All I do is think and write and think some more and write some more.
And it’s working! It’s amazing how much writing I’m getting done during these 20 hours per week. It hasn’t been easy, though. After the thrill wore off, there were several times when I faced an enormous temptation to just jump online to surf for a few minutes’ break, but I didn’t give in.
Then that passed, and I found it was real work to just stay with one topic for four hours. My attention span had disintegrated to the point that four hours on one subject was torture. I remember being in college and getting a precious “stacks pass,” which meant I could roam about the stacks of the enormous U of I library, reading anything I wanted. I spent hours there, sometimes having to be kicked out because they were closing. I sure had an attention span back then, reading books straight through. Now I couldn’t even concentrate on one project for four measly hours.
But I kept at it, and I’m slowly getting over that hurdle. Now the four hours passes in no time (most days, anyway), and it’s much easier to stay on track. I’m finishing up a book about preparing our kids for the new economy, as well as a Bible study I designed for my daughter when she was a young teen. I’m working on one book four days a week, and the other one day a week. We hope to have both of them out this year. But I don’t think either of them would be in the works if I hadn’t started having office hours.
Here’s a question for the veteran homeschool moms who pop by this blog now and then: Have you had trouble concentrating too? Or is it just me?