By R. Rose


     I had been pounding on brick walls for years looking for that illusive entrance to “Diagon Alley.”  With my hectic schedule, I had come to the conclusion that the best way for me to “do it all” is to visit the Spells and Potions Shop located there and stock up on “Time in a Bottle.” Then, no matter what life threw at me, I would always have enough time to finish all my projects. Unfortunately, all this particular course of action had gotten me was bruised and bloodied fists. For the record, I did start out with an umbrella like in the movie but apparently they weren’t really made for that kind of abuse. In the end, I had resorted to pounding with my fists in the hope someone would take pity on me and just give me a free day-pass. Sadly, I must say…it didn’t work.


    But the universe works in strange and mysterious ways. As the clock struck midnight on January 1st, I had a sudden rush of mystical clarity (it also could have been too much caffeine from all the lattes I had consumed earlier, but since I love the paranormal…). It was now the year 2014, the “Year of Living My Dreams,” and it was time for me to change my approach to life. Since pounding on walls had only accomplished leaving behind vast amounts of my DNA; I decided to try something I had heard about “once upon a time”…it heard it referred to as “Time Management”. I know there’s nothing magical sounding about the name, but what it can actually do for a writer, now that is pure magic.


     Now, I can be a writer, a veterinary technician, a domestic goddess and still have time to watch “The Vampire Diaries” and “Reign” (yes, I am shamelessly hooked) on Thursday nights. I also have found much more time to read than I've ever had before. Since I don’t want your quest for the magic to be as painful as mine; I am going to let you in on a few of my “time-saving tips.”


Tip #1 – Make “To Do” Lists. One for Daily Tasks that includes:  exercise time, daily household chores, mom taxi duties, etc. I even include things like “feed the pets” on my list because cats can be very vindictive if you don’t feed them. Put this in your day planner (a must for every breathing person) and cross things off when you get them completed. You should also make a list for the things you do “weekly” and another for the jobs you only do “once a month.” I have these on my computer and print them out as needed. Yes, I have a smart phone for those of you asking why I am still writing in a day planner. While it is true that the techno-beasts are not as vindictive as cats; they are just as temperamental and have been known to have a mind of their own at the most inopportune times. I have yet to have my day planner page go blank in the middle of my day. If yours is truly reliable…then more power to you…which reminds me, you might want to get a back-up power supply for it.


Tip #2 – “Double-Dutch” your tasks.  The same way you made two jump-ropes work simultaneously when you were a kid; can also be made to work effectively on your daily tasks. I eat breakfast in front of my computer while I read my email or take out the trash when I go to check the mailbox. My favorite one…paint my nails while I watch my Thursday night programs (my butt is glued to the couch for two hours so I might as well make it a double-dutch, right?). I keep the book I am currently reading in my purse so I can read if I am stuck waiting in long lines. It has been a great way to utilize what I otherwise would have considered wasted time. Plus, you get “interesting looks” while reading about “spells and potions” or “re-animating the dead” from those standing around you at the pharmacy.


Tip #3 – Prepare to be flexible.  Things that aren’t flexible...break. Never has there been a sentence with more truth to it. I can’t tell you how many times I have had my day-off planned and just as I was about to begin writing, a call would come in to "report to work" because someone had called in “dead” (our only excuse for not being there). It’s a good thing I am into the paranormal because I have seen more “dead co-workers” come back to life…I’m just saying. Anyway, the point I am trying to make is “go with the flow” it will make you life “flow” more smoothly if you are expecting the unexpected.


Tip #4 – There are a lot of great books out there on time management. Pick up one or two and read up on the topic. Go to the library and check out what they have on the shelves. Once you find one that really works for you, I suggest you purchase a copy. That way you can refer to it whenever you feel the need.


You can easily create more time in a day that didn’t have enough…see, MAGIC!