SCBWI Canada East Blog

March 23, 2017

2:23 PM 0
Nowadays there are so many distractions that can tear us away from what we want and need to do on a daily basis, especially for those who work at home.

I’ve found social media to be a key diversion and it goes hand in hand with procrastination, which strives to be my best friend along with its buddies, resistance and avoidance.

One of the things that keeps me focused and helps me manage my time is the ‘WHY’ behind what I do. Even when I prioritize my activities for the day, this question is never far away from my thoughts.

As a writer and translator, my two main priorities -- apart from my family -- are meeting my translation and writing deadlines as well as my self-imposed writing targets. External deadlines are easier to meet so the real challenge for me is to stick to the hours I allocate toward completing my works in progress. 

It’s inevitable to run into obstacles, and I don’t just mean situations or stuff that crop up. That’s life! The way I respond is what determines how well I’ll manage my time. If I get stressed and overwhelmed very little gets done no matter how well I have scheduled my day. And it’s at times like these when I will most tend to seek distractions like social media to get me out of my funk.

Sometimes, taking a time out can save me hours of worrying. A ten-minute walk or even a good workout at the gym can do wonders, particularly when stress is wreaking havoc. It’s amazing what the mind can come up with when away from your desk or computer. Pen and paper are two of my very best friends at these times. Ideas as well as solutions to challenges flow like water when my mind is relaxed and in the moment. Mindfulness: this is a huge concept these days.   

There’s a word that comes in quite handy at times. That word is ‘No’, specifically when I need to stick to a schedule.  It’s tricky to say ‘No’ with love and firmness, especially to family, friend and even my clients. And this is when my ‘Why’ becomes important. Should I accept a translation job or work toward completing the draft of my WIP by DATE? Should I revise the draft today, as planned, or go shopping with my daughter? 

This might sound like oversimplification but managing my time properly also boils down to self-awareness. Knowing what I need to accomplish in order to have peace of mind so I can focus on what’s important is as crucial as knowing what distracts me, what triggers me and what I need to do to stay centered and productive.

You can find more about Ann Marie Meyers on her website -