Kids have this unbelievable ability to fill your heart with love – and squeeze your time out with their energy. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your writing ambitions to raise them. With a little nudge in the right direction, you can carve time out to juggle both successfully.
In this article, we’ve broken down 3 of the most efficient ways of finding time to write when raising kids.
Happy writing – and oh – raising kids!
1. Build a 30-minute Writing Habit
The whirlwind of life business pre-kid turns into a full-blown hurricane post-kid. The goal is to learn how to navigate the eye of the hurricane.
We suggest you sit down and list your writing goals on a blank page. Giving your goals concrete descriptions will help cement them into your mind.
Start with the big goals, then figure out what needs to happen to get you there. Want to write a book before your 35th birthday? Then break it down into chapter goals, and each chapter on page goals. You can even try setting daily word count milestones.
Next, dedicate just 30 minutes a day to hit your single paragraph/page goal. Do it every day without fail when your-convenient-o’clock strikes and tada! You will have your full chapter ready by the end of the month.
The first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. A ready-chapter is a step closer to a perfect-chapter.
2. Negotiate with your Partner / Buy Time
Are you raising children with a partner? If yes, negotiation is key. If no, buying time can be a wonderful alternative.
All writers go through bursts of creativity. When you feel like it’s your calling, get help. There’s nothing wrong in negotiating with your partner or arranging for a babysitter to watch over your kids as you write.
3. Sharpen your Focus
For a parent raising kids, time is one of the rarest and most valuable commodities. Unclaimed downtime gets scarce, so it’s understandable to give into distractions presented by social media and the like as a way to quickly relax.
Here’s when eliminating such distractions to sharpen your focus comes into play. The more you maintain your focus, the more work you could get done in less time. Easier said then done, right? To do so, you can use a variety of psychological and scientific tools.
Cal Newport in his book Deep Work explains what worked for him in getting his best work done in less time amidst raising two kids. The Grand Gesture is one of our favorite approaches. This tactic encourages introducing a drastic changes to your surroundings, such as going out to a cafe, to increase the importance of your task. This helps signify a shift in activity and triggers good work habits.
Combine this tactic with the number two on our list for extra impact. We also recommend picking up a copy of Deep Work to learn more ways to make every second count!