Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's Like Some Kind of Chain Reaction

Absolutely everyone is talking about snakes today. Big A little a started it, Book Moot picked up on it, and then the subject moved on to Chicken Spaghetti.

I'd just like to point out that this is the kind of information that is worth its weight in gold for a children's writer. I don't mean because it indicates that now would be a good time to write a snake book. (I suspect any time is a good time to write a snake book.) No, I mean that if snakes are hot with the little nippers, then that could be a good detail to use when creating a young character.

My Name is Gail, and I am a Screen Sucker

The January 16th issue of Timehas an article on ineffecient use of time due to multi-tasking (I wish) or becoming distracted. In it, the authors (Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe) define screen sucking as "Wasting time online long after you have finished what you signed on to do."

What do you call it when you sign on specifically to waste time online?

I am constantly interrupting my work to check my e-mail (I don't have a little pinger telling me when some arrives, which means I can check it over and over and over again), check the news, go to Readerville and, now, play Bookworm. (I have made it to Level 7, by the way.) The Time article said that an average of 2 hours a day are lost to such activities and the "recovery time associated with getting back on task." Assuming that happens.

I definitely believe I'm losing two hours a day, because my plan in life is to knock off work around 3 so that I can get some life maintenance work done. Yet I fall so far behind because of all the garbage I do that I often am trying to finish up when I should be starting dinner, forget about doing something else. Then I feel overwhelmed because I haven't folded last week's clean laundry (and, yes, my husband does fold laundry--he folds his as well as all the towels and bedding, which, yes, doesn't leave me with much), I haven't ironed in weeks, the floors are crunchy, and I can write my name on almost every surface in the house.

And that overwhelmed feeling is not good for my work.

This particular issue of Time has pages and pages of stuff on the mind, including a two page spread on the best use of time if you're a morning person or a night person. And, yeah, you guessed it. To the best of my knowledge, I'm neither.

I'm not wandering off the subject of writing here, by the way. I think learning to organize your time is a huge part of being a writer. I'm going to use some of mine to finish reading this magazine, hoping it will give me a clue.

No comments: