Bundling Your Time

Author Dori Butler wanted to be able to offer free mini-Skype visits to schools, but needed a way to manage requests:


“I like to be able to offer something [to schools] for free, in the interest of promoting literacy. But I’m doing it on MY terms. I’ve decided to set aside one day a month in which I will do four 15-minute Q & A sessions during my ‘lunch hour,’ and schools can sign up, first come, first served. When those slots are filled, they’re filled. And I will still require that everyone in those sessions have read or heard at least one of my books.”

 I loved that Dori took charge of her schedule and determined what would work best for her life of writing and appearances.

 One year when my calendar looked like Swiss cheese, pocked with non-writing obligations, I knew I needed to do something. So I crossed off the second week of every month and made it a ME week: no appointments, no food shopping, no writers meetings, no trips to the post office, no school visits. Just me, my desk and my computer.

 During times when I’m on tight deadlines, I’ve done a similar thing with school visits. I’ll pick a week out of the month in which I try to book the bulk of my visits. This is a little harder to do, especially when a juicy offer comes my way. But if I keep my ME week intact, it’s a little easier to cut the school visit week a little slack.

 At a business meeting a couple of weeks ago, I heard a consultant use the phrase, “Money Mondays.” What she meant was that she dedicated Mondays to doing financials related to her business. What a great way to tame must-do tasks!

 Our livelihoods depend on our being creative. And as much as we may love doing appearances and other things, we need to be smarter about how we use time so we can keep making terrific books. So, choose days of the week – or month – to bundle tasks and tame a time a little bit better. Trust me – it can reduce stress and lead to higher productivity.

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