Writing while you have a day job can be difficult, especially when you read about other writers’ routines and realize that you’re definitely not a “wake up at 4 in the morning to write” kind of person. There are only so many hours in the day, and it can be hard to devote even a fraction of those hours to writing. When you’re at work, you have to work. When you get home, you might just want to collapse on the couch with Netflix. Sometimes, the only way to get some writing done, is to employ the technique you either love or love to hate: multitasking.
I’ve read the articles and I’m sure you have, too. Multitasking has been denounced in recent years because it divides your focus and means you don’t do as well on the tasks you’re juggling. While this might be true, I think you can still use multitasking to your advantage in certain situations. Here are some times when you might consider multitasking to write.
During TV Time: As long as you aren’t watching Netflix, you’re going to have to sit through commercial breaks. As soon as that first break starts, open up your document and write as much as you can before the show returns. Then repeat that process every time the show cuts to an advertisement. Before your show begins, take some time to orient yourself in your writing project so that you’re ready to go when those commercials start up.
During Break Time: At work, you might only have fifteen minutes of break time every day. Though it might not seem like much, you can get some writing done in that short window of time if you really try. If you’re willing, you can even sacrifice some of your lunchtime to write as well. Just make sure your writing doesn’t cut into actual work time!
While Cooking: Sure, there are some things that need to be monitored as they cook. But sometimes you stick something in the oven or just let it simmer on the stove for a while. Use that time to get some writing done! You’re just sitting around anyway, so why not get some words down while you can?
On Your Commute: This one is only for you train commuters, unfortunately (unless you have a self-driving car, in which case, please lend me your self-driving car). If you have a commute during which you don’t have to watch the road yourself, make use of that time! Charge your laptop or phone and then use it to get some writing done on your way to work or on your way home.
I hope these tips help you squeeze some writing time into your busy days. Happy writing!
— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan