How can I make time for family history books or my memoirs when I’m so busy?

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Making time to write your memoirs or a family history book can be challenging, especially when you have a busy schedule. However, with effective time management and commitment, you can find ways to carve out the necessary time for your writing project. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your writing goals and the scope of your project. Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve will help you stay focused and motivated. Maybe your goal shouldn’t be “write my life history,” but rather, “write the important events and memories from when I lived in _______ (town)” – this narrows your scope and will be much more manageable!
  2. Set Realistic Expectations: Don’t set overly ambitious goals that could lead to frustration. Start with manageable targets and build from there. For example, if you have piles of photographs that haven’t been digitized yet, it would be really good to start digitizing and cataloging them with captions! This will help you write because your memory will be fresh with those images.
  3. Prioritize Writing: Just like any other important task, prioritize your writing time. Allocate specific time slots in your schedule dedicated solely to writing. It could be early in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evenings. Set your recurring phone reminders to remind yourself to check it off on a regular basis! I love using that feature on my phone.
  4. Start Small: You don’t need to dedicate hours at a stretch. Even writing for 15-30 minutes a day can accumulate over time. Consistency matters more than the duration of each session.
  5. Use Dead Time: Identify pockets of time during your day that often go unused, such as commuting, waiting in line, or during short breaks. Carry a notebook or use a note-taking app on your phone to jot down ideas. Use your voice memo app to record yourself talking about it as you drive! You can always transcribe it later or get someone to transcribe it for you.
  6. Eliminate Time Wasters: Review your daily activities and identify any time-wasting habits. Cutting back on these can free up more time for your writing. Meal planning is my personal favorite time-saver activity. We always eat leftovers at least a few times a week so I don’t have to cook. It gives me a lot more time to focus on genealogy and family history books!
  7. Delegate and Outsource: If possible, delegate some tasks or responsibilities to others to create more time in your schedule. This might involve asking for help with household chores or work-related tasks. I regularly talk to my husband about what days I need to leave the house to go into the genealogy center near me to get work done.
  8. Communicate Your Goals: Let your friends and family know about your writing project. Their understanding and support can help create a conducive environment for your writing. I love the feeling of sending progress pictures to friends and family. They are your cheerleaders!

Remember, writing a memoir or a family history book is a meaningful endeavor, and finding time for it reflects your commitment to preserving your personal or family’s story. By implementing these strategies and adapting them to your unique circumstances, you can make steady progress on your writing project despite your busy schedule.

If you think you need greater accountability and help, reach out to me! I’d love to help with your memoir or life history project!

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