Dos and Don’ts for Meeting A Deadline in 10 Minute Increments

Recently I promised my publishing friend that I would have a manuscript for her.  Well, it wasn’t completely ready, so I implemented the 10 minute method to get it done.  From 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, I stayed in my kitchen, alternating work every ten minutes. Ten minutes on the computer, ten minutes either washing dishes, making a meal, folding laundry or baking bread.  I am happy to say that everything was satisfactorily completed.

But there were a few mishaps. I would like to call this “Deadline Do’s and Don’ts”

Dos and Don'ts for Meeting A Deadline in 10 Minutes A Day

1. DO:  Try to keep your children busy while you are working.

DON’T: Decide hours after the injury that the bruise on the 2 1/2 year old’s chin should have been treated with ice.

2. DO:  Use your favorite appliances to help with dinner.

DON’T:  Set the rice cooker basin in the sink (with rice in it), turn on the water and get distracted by children who are not doing their afternoon chores.  You will likely make enough rice to feed your entire neighborhood.

3. DO: Be attentive to your husband as he comes in and out of the kitchen, preparing for his day at work.

DON’T: Forget to wash your hands while making bread. He will, most assuredly, ask you to go get the dress pants in the closet. He will then realize that there is flour on the pants.

4. DO: Be cheerful to everyone in your household.  They are not on deadline, only you are.

DON’T: Get frustrated with your husband when he asks you for a wet-wipe to get the flour off his pants.

5. DO: Have the children help out around the house.

DON’T: Send the four year old to the basement to bring up a new gallon of apple juice. He will undoubtedly drop it, causing a hairline crack in the bottle, of which you will not notice, until an hour later when the contents of said bottle have drained out the bottom, all over the counter top, down the counters and onto the kitchen floor.

6. DO:  Ask the children to have self control in the house.

DON’T:  Scold the 6 year old for running like a wild man and falling because of a lack of self control.  He just slipped on a puddle of apple juice that Mommy didn’t know was there, even though it was eight inches away from her.

7. DO: Make your work work around your life.

DON’T: Make your life work around your work.

8.  DO:  Learn from your mistakes.

DON’T:  Ever complain about being on a deadline.  This is what real writers do.

It’s super hard trying to be super mom. It’s so hard, in fact, that we often need to stop, focus on one thing at a time and go slowly. Learn from my mistakes. Keep your hands clean, be patient with your family and go easy on yourself.

Your dreams are worth it. 


I am a fiction writing and time management coach. I help time crunched novelists strengthen their craft, manage their time and gain confidence so they can find readers for their stories.

Katharine Grubb is a homeschooling mother of five, a novelist, a baker of bread, a comedian wannabe, a former running coward, PTSD survivor, and the author of Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day.Besides pursuing her own fiction and nonfiction writing dreams, she also leads 10 Minute Novelists on Facebook, an international group for time-crunched writers that focuses on tips, encouragement and community. She lives in Massachusetts with her family. Her new novel, Soulless Creatures, which is about two 18 year old boys, not vampires, will be released August 2015.



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Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.