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mantle clockMy Christmas wish list has just four things on it. First was the gift of space to make room for a new office. Second is the gift of time.

Don’t we all wish for more time? Time to get our to-do lists done and abandoned projects finished. Time to rest and recharge. Time to invest in the relationships that matter most. Time to enjoy a hobby or the latest bestseller. In fact, if you suddenly had an extra hour freed up in your schedule, I’m sure that hour would get filled very quickly.

I wish I had more time, but the truth is I wish I could better manage and balance the time I’ve been given. And that starts by carving out some time to honestly evaluate my schedule and my priorities. As I balance my values of faith, family, and fiction, what are the most important tasks to do related to each and where do they fit into my schedule? Do I need to cut a volunteer position or delegate housekeeping tasks like cleaning or cooking in order to make room? The end of the year is the perfect time to look back and see what didn’t work so I can fix it.

In a few months, my daughter will graduate from high school and I will lose my precious chunk of while-the-kids-are-at-school time, especially since she will need me to establish new exercise, work, and activity routines for her. As I look ahead, I know I will need to work smarter with smaller blocks of time. Hopefully, having a separate office space will help switch on the it’s-time-to-work mode when I enter the room, but I know I will need to give myself scheduled (and enforced) blocks of writing time.

So, with a new writing schedule coming in the future, I’m starting now to practice productivity within a scheduled block of time. To make the most of the time I have in front of my computer so that I can spend guilt-and-resentment-free time away from it.

What about you? How do you carve out time for yourself? Do you have regular routines or live more spontaneously with weekly goals? What would you do with an extra hour today?

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