Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Part 3: Deadly-Effective Ways to Free Up Bits, Drips & Gimungously Vast Swaths of Time for Writing

Part Three of "30 Deadly-Effective Ways to Free Up Bits, Drips & Gimungously Vast Swaths of Time for Writing" which first appeared on C.M. Mayo's blog.  

 by C.M. Mayo
18. Quit hauling laundry. You've got to get your clothes clean so, failing someone else to do it for you, get a washer / dryer for your house or apartment. If you do not have space, if it's not allowed, or you cannot afford this, then consider a portable washer/dryer because hauling bags to the laundro-mat or down to the basement only to find the machines full-- that is one woolly mammoth of a time suck. 

19. Never hunt for your keys / wallet / purse / iPhone. This is an easy fix. The moment you step in the door, you always, always put them in the same place, a designated hook or a bowl or a basket. This might seem minor, but those two to ten minutes of running around with your hair on fire add up.

20. Never hunt for Internet passwords (or wait for the "resend password" email). Keep track of passwords, some way, somehow. I use Grandma's recipe box-- deemed seriously uncool on the Cool Tools blog, but it works beautifully for me and, so they tell me after reading that infamous blog post, many of my friends. (So there.)

21. No boat. Do not ever even shop for a boat. Do not even think about shopping for a boat. Unless you plan to sell your house and live in the boat. Ditto RV, camping equipment, or motorcycle. And anyway, you cannot live in your motorcycle. If you like to go out overnight into nature, check out Mike Clelland’s
Ultralight Backpacking Tips. (Watch out, though, he features a link to his UFO page.)

22. No second home. On par with the boat. No, worse.

23. Stop buying loads of soft drinks and bottled water. Take into account the time it takes to shop for them, carry them to the car, lug them out of the car, store them somewhere in the pantry or the fridge, then recycle the cans… Drip, drip, drip goes your time (and money). Just drink filtered water or home-brewed tea or coffee.

24. Prepare your meals with mis-en-place. Even when making a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich, it sure does help to do 
mis-en-place. If you hate cooking, you probably never heard of the mis. Check it out. (If you want to keep it easy by microwaving everything or getting take out, see #3 in Part One.) 

25. Take email seriously. In other words, stop letting it pile up and become a giant, throbbing source of lost opportunities, embarrassment and guilt. Email is vital for a writer-- as vital as letter writing in days of yore, so do it well. 

 > My Super Simple Tally-trick to Zap the Backlog and Find the Joy (Yes, Joy) in Email.

Read Part Four of these excellent tips here next week.

C.M. Mayo is the author of several books, most recently, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual. She is currently at work on a book about Far West Texas, and apropos of that, hosts the Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project at


Susan J Tweit said...

And I was just going to go out and buy a boat and a second home with all of my writing earnings! Seriously, I'm enjoying reading your tips, and chuckling at your sense of humor. Thanks, CM!

judy said...

Enlighten me: What is mis-en-place?

C.M. Mayo said...

Thanks Susan, I made myself laugh, too!

Hi Judy, about mis-en-place:

It really is amazingly helpful.