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HubPages (Writing) And Housework - How To Get Them Both Done - Part 1
Housework and Hubbing
Dividing your time
Whether your passion for writing is for personal benefit or financial gain, it can take up a phenomenal amount of your time. Especially when you first start writing, it takes a lot of time to 'learn' about the dozens of subjects that you will undoubtedly have to cover in order to make your writing a success. SEO, Google Adsense, backlinking, affiliate programs, web traffic and actually 'how to' write a good article are just a few of the topics that you'll find yourself learning about.
All of the hours spent learning and writing can eat away into time that you should be doing something else. If you do most of your writing at home, then this something else could probably be housework.
However, if you focus your time onto the housework, your writing suffers. It's a no win situation, or is it? Find out how to satisfy both your writing and 'Domestic Goddess' time and effort requirements.
Writing takes over everything: It happens to a lot of writers, whether its writing for the internet, a book, newspaper column, fiction or any other type of creative writing, it all falls into the same category. We get involved with a piece that we are working on, or the research that we are doing, and time flies by at an extraordinary rate. Before we know it, it's dark outside, or light if you've been working through the small hours. or you realise that you should have been somewhere else hours ago.
If you're well disciplined, this might not happen to you. Having been a writer for a long time doesn't make much difference, you could still get very lost in time when you're absorbed in your work. However, some discipline in necessary, as is good organisation, so if you don't yet have either of these skills, now would be a good time to learn how to employ them, or polish up the one's that you already have. Positive habits are beneficial and reap life long, rich rewards
If you find that you do get behind with life in general while you spend so much time working on your writing career, that your duties to the world outside it take more than a back seat, then try out the valuable balancing act that I have adapted.
Tick follows tock follows tick
Time is not your enemy
I work on the internet full-time, run my house single handedly, tend the family AND have a social life. I have struggled to achieve all of this is years gone by, but this has been a great year for me. I am currently re-establishing my internet presence after a break to do other things. Along with returning to work web based once again, I had a lot of other duties and commitments that I had to take into consideration. These 'other things' could not be allowed to become neglected.
It is often difficult to keep a balance of how your time is spent, areas of life can suffer slightly from semi neglect when our time is consumed randomly. Finding enough time to fit everything in can be challenging, but it is possible.
Warning: Do not allow writing to take over and consume the time you need to spend on other areas of your life. Neglect of the 'rest of your life' and everything in it, will cost you dearly. I have seen this happen to people and it is ugly, their lives are a mess and usually so are they.
When it comes to dividing your time, the matters of writing and domestic/family/social duties, it works extremely well if you adopt a pattern of going from one to the other and back again. I'm not suggesting that you flit mindlessly from one thing to another, that would be fruitless.
Establishing your days
You do need to establish that at certain times you will need to devote your time mainly to writing. Depending on what else is going on in your life and your particular reason for writing in the 1st place. If you are writing for financial gain, then expect to initially spend a great deal of time to establish yourself and to learn all the doe's and don’ts. As time goes by and your earning increase, you can ease off, or not, the choice is yours.
Life doesn't always allow for a strict regime, so being flexible is very important. However, you will need to designate a few days every week when you concentrate mainly on home based activities, such as writing and housework. Keep any socialising to a minimum and learn to focus. Try and avoid distraction, there are many of them out there and they will eat away at your valuable time, making you very unproductive.
You will obviously do domestic tasks on other days too, that's when you'll do other things in your life as well. Going out to do the grocery shopping, visiting relatives, socialising etc... should be kept to the days that aren't designated for that weeks writing. Most of your domestic chores can be done when you're at home on your specific days, including laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, mopping the floor.......
On the days that you put aside to do home based tasks, including writing, make the most of the time that you have. Don't make extra work for yourself, build a routine that is productive and conducive to 'getting things done'.
Dividing your time successfully between writing and doing household chores, will leave you feeling satisfied. Whichever one you begin your day with, moving seamlessly onto the next one and back again is the secret.
I usually run the water to wash the breakfast dishes and tidy any mess in the kitchen as I turn the computer on and wait for it to fully load. I make a coffee and then spend some time 'catching up' with any important emails, looking at my stats, checking for forum replies or article comments.
After this, I return to the kitchen and finish off. Then it's back to the computer for the next things on my to do list for writing that day. Rarely do I actually do any writing at that point of the day, it's usually research, either into an article that I'm thinking about writing, or keywords. I also do sessions of forum posting and traffic driving, browsing the internet about things that interest me and will probably give me idea's on what to write about. Each day is different.
You can only focus and concentrate effectively for a certain amount of time. By taking regular breaks from working at the computer and putting this time to use by doing housework, you'll manage to get everything done. It doesn't have to take you long each time, you'd be surprised what you can get done in 10-15 minutes, and these short sessions add up over the day when you use your time effectively.
If I leave the computer and go into the kitchen, whether it be to make coffee or to answer the telephone, I'll try and do something while I'm in there. I will sort the dirty laundry out and put the washing machine on. While I'm waiting for the machine to finish, I return to my work on the computer. I later return and take the laundry out of the washing machine and put it up to dry. These tasks don't take very long, so are ideal to do on a forced or natural break from staring at a monitor.
If I go upstairs for something, I will take up the clean, folded laundry, or other items that belong up there but have found their way downstairs. On the return journey, I will return anything that has found it's way upstairs and doesn't belong there, or spend 10 minutes cleaning the bathroom beens as I am passing that way.
Sometimes you just need to stretch your legs and do something else for a few minutes. I use these opportunities to get the vacuum cleaner out, or to peel the vegetables for dinner. There are always little jobs that you can get done in a short period of time.
While I'm doing these 'other things' it gives me a chance to think about what I have been doing in the writing department so far that day, and what else I have to do. It gives me a chance to digest things that I have been doing and to work out the best way forward. I have found these times to be very productive.
Is your time evenly balanced?
How do you divide your time?
So you see, you can find a happy balance to write and get your housework done without too much stress. Personally, I spend a few evenings a week doing the same thing as I have already outlined. I flow from one activity to the next and back again.
I also use a similar technique with some socialising. I work at the computer for a while, stop to have coffee and a chat with a visiting friend, then immediately return to working as soon as they have left. I try to pre-arrange these social visits so that I can plan ahead, and restrict them to only a couple of days a week. Just because you work from home doesn't give people an excuse to selfishly take up all of your time, they have to understand that your time spent writing is just like any other job in the respect of the amount of time and effort that it needs to have dedicated to it.
A little self discipline and some organisation will give you ample time to write and do domestic chores. Play with the routine until you are able to make a good balance, adapt where necessary and remember to be flexible. A positive attitude goes a long way to making this work and a little patience helps too.
Find a happy balance between writing and household chores, get it all done. Good luck.