In my quest to write a novel, I used to whine a lot about never having any time to write. Then I read a lot of "if you want it bad enough, you will make time" posts and I realized that was exactly what I had to do. I guess it was sort of an unofficial New Year's resolution (since I don't make resolutions).
So, with nothing really to go on, I came up with a plan. I started by printing out the weekly calendar view from Outlook. I work an 8 hour day, with a 30-40 minute commute each way. I have two young children. I have a husband who is a farmer and keeps weird hours. I decided the easiest thing to do was focus on my evening hours. Weekends are a kind of see what happens time because I work some Saturdays too.
I started this in the middle of a week, so I crossed out the days that had passed. I populated anything that I had already scheduled. Luckily, my kids are too young to be in a lot of activities yet and I'm not a social butterfly. I budgeted out the remaining time for every evening that was left in the week. It looked something like this...
9:15-10 shower, pre-bed activities...because I have to be in bed by 10 in order to function the next day
Each day allows for different things. Like Monday 7-8 is blocked out for Chuck. Wednesday is laundry night. Thursday is clean-up/put away laundry night. And Tuesday is kids night and nothing else.
It's not a perfect system. Like I said, I have two young kids. They require a lot of attention and my husband isn't always there to help. So I juggle and shuffle things around a little. But so far, it's working. I get a little reading and writing done every day. Not much, but some. The next step will be to figure out a daily word count goal. That's a little harder because I don't have a definite word count ultimate goal in mind. It's a fly by the seat of my pants kind of thing.
For more about this time budget, you can read this post at Better Writing Habits. I read it after I started by budget, but it applies.