Arguably, one of the biggest challenges writers face is time management. You are essentially a one-man band so writing, editing, publishing, marketing, promotions- all need to be done solo unless you have a team. This makes it really difficult to stay organised and make the most of your precious time. Below are some time management tips you can use to help you stay on track.
When focusing on your writing- it needs to be your only focus. Turn off phone, social media, television and radio. If you have to be on the net for research reasons, make sure all other tabs are closed. Set an amount of time purely to write and make sure you make the most of that time doing just that. You can use websites such as this one, which cleverly blocks apps of your choice for as long as you want to help you to stay focused. Freedom users report gaining an average of 2.5 hours of productive time each day!
Have a To-Do List
Whether you like them or not, a list will always help keep a routine. The key in writing a list though is using it. Create a schedule for all your writing needs. You can use online templates to create the best ones.
Learn to say “no” if it isn’t on the schedule and make sure you are marking off each achievement for that sense of accomplishment. Lastly, make sure your list is always visible, you don’t want to be guessing what is next and miss something, as this will throw the whole routine out.
If you are someone that relies solely on emails from potential customers, you may find yourself religiously checking your inbox throughout the day. This will eat into your time writing and will be a massive distraction. Saying that, however, you don’t want your potential traffic to think you are slack at replying.
The best thing to do in this situation is to create an automatic reply. You can set it as something along the lines of “I check my emails twice a day, at — am and — pm. If your email is urgent and cannot wait until then, please call me on ____”. This will stop any urges to check your emails, and in turn- give you more time to write.
Rest Is Important
Getting enough sleep and rest is important for your body and soul. It sounds cliché but it is true. Making sure you have downtime for yourself, just to see friends or watch a movie…Or even just have a coffee, is so important to stop you burning yourself out.
Managing time will seem a hundred times harder if you are tired and not on your best form, so be sure to take at least 30 minutes or an hour of your day to just sit back and relax, doing something you really love and feel you don’t have enough time to do.
Night Time Isn't Writing Time
Never write at night time. It is time when you work the least effectively. You will be tired by this point and will lack ideas and thoughts and your work will be at its worst.
Not only that, you will have a time gap of about 8 hours while you are sleeping before you even think about writing again, this is a time where you will forget about the night before and your morning thoughts will still be groggy. It is fine to write down ideas in the evening, but do any drafts while you are fully alert and comfortable.
Time management is essential because we cannot turn back time. Time management will allow you to do more work, focus on tasks, and limit wasted time. Self-discipline is the key to effectively and efficiently manage time.