Some authors write a lot faster than others. Lucky them. I am definitely not one of the fast writers. But many authors get writer’s block and stress over their work. Still other struggle to meet their deadlines while trying to stay caught up with everyday life.
Time management can help solve these issues. Here are some tips to make the most of each day.
1. Set a Schedule
Try to write at the same time every day, a couple of times a day, if you are juggling it with a day job and other activities. If you schedule your writing time like an appointment or meeting you are less likely to skip it or set it aside for other activities.
2. Use a Timer
Set an egg timer or an online timer for 25 minutes. Don’t do anything but write. Take a 5-minute break, then give yourself another 25 minutes. Continue in this manner for each writing session.
3. Set a Goal for Each Session
Decide what you want to work on and focus on that. You might be writing additional words for your novel working to meet a certain word count, or editing what you wrote recently. Keep your focus on your goal.
4. Have Your Own Writing Area
Even if it is just one corner of your kitchen where you have your laptop, pens and paper, have a little office space for yourself that no one will tamper with. When you are in your writing space your body and brain will be programmed to write.
5. Turn Off Distractions
Turn off the phone, stop your email from pinging and make sure your work space is relatively quiet (except for your writing playlist). Avoid looking out of the window or tidying your desk when you are supposed to be writing.
6. Use To-Do Lists
To-do lists keep you on track and remove the stress of trying to remember everything that needs to be done. There is also immense satisfaction in tackling the task and then crossing it off your list.
7. Get Up Early to Write, or Write Late at Night
When the family are all still in bed can be the best time to get writing done. It can mean some sacrifices, but they can be worth it if you are creating a saleable piece of work.
I do most of my writing late at night. It’s quiet without distractions, and it is when I feel most creative.
8. Don’t Wait to Be in the Mood to Write
Writing is not so much about talent as work and consistency. Write every day even when you don’t feel like it. Treat it as part of your daily routine, like showering and brushing your teeth.
This is actually the one I struggle with the most, personally. I tend to get in moods where I don’t want to write if my Muse isn’t yelling at me. But, usually if I make myself get down to it, the words start to flow.
9. Broaden Your Definition of Writing
There’s always something to do when you are a writer, such as editing, research and so on. Use each scheduled session to the full even if you never write an original word.
As my friend David say, “Everything is writing.” So whether you are researching, outlining, promoting, editing, world-building, etc… Use up your scheduled time with writing related work.
10. Tackle the Tough Stuff First
If you struggle with a particular task, do it first to get it out of the way so you won’t dread doing it while you are working on your other writing-related tasks.
11. Don’t Believe in the Myth of Multitasking
There is really no such thing as multitasking. It is simply the brain switching back and forth rapidly between two tasks. The result? More stress for you, and each chore taking more than twice as long compared with working on each thing one at a time.
I used to be a super multi-tasker. But, I’ve recently allowed myself to focus on one task at a time. I get things done quicker and with less errors. It is amazing how much more productive I feel at the end of the day.
12. Outsource the Non-Essentials
If you hate doing a task, don’t do it well, and/or it does not have a direct impact on your writing or financial success, then outsource it and hire a freelancer to deal with it. Head over to Fiverr.com, get a lawn service, and so on.
I hope these Time Management Tips help you become more productive as you write.
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I will see you tomorrow for Write About It Wednesday!
Until then –
Write On, Writers!