Time to Write: 5 Tricks of Effective Time Management - article

Whether you work full-time or have ten kids, your life is probably pretty busy. It can be hard to fit writing into that jam-packed life if writing hasn't already been a natural part of you for years and years. Here you'll find a few tips for those who don't automatically pick up pen and paper every break.

1) During an ordinary day, note how you spend your time.

A lot of times you can find time to write without cutting anything important. Every time you find yourself sitting in front of the TV, playing around on Facebook, or doing anything that you don't have to do, stop. Go sit down and start writing, even if for only fifteen minutes.

2) Change how you spend your time by delegating tasks.

Every time you find your hands on anything like cleaning, laundry, packing lunch, or any other activity your children can do themselves, make them do it. If you have no children, ask your significant other or housemates to divide the work with you. If you have neither children nor housemates, procrastinate on house-keeping little. Really, who are you trying to impress? Bundle activities together. Do all your errands one day instead of spreading it out during the week. This gives you more time the rest of the week to write.

3) Set your time goals realistically.

Don't expect to dedicate an entire day each week when you've never written more than a few sentences a month. If you aim too high and fail, you'll find it more difficult to establish healthy writing habits.

4) Be consistent: write down when you're going to write.

This sounds a little funny, but do it. Write it on your calendar, and develop a routine so that you and your housemates become accustomed to your "writing time." E-mail a notice to yourself, your wife, your husband, and your children. Yes, really, take it that far--e-mail and ask them to please remind you because you have a book or article that must make it to paper.

5) Find the best time for writing so that you feel productive during your writing time.

Make trade-offs so you write during times that you naturally feel creative and have high mental energy. Doing dishes and laundry don't require high mental and creative energy. Writing does. So schedule accordingly.

In the end, writing is a decision for which no amount of planning can compensate. Some people naturally move their schedules around to allow writing, but maybe you're not like that; maybe you need to work at the wanting. Think about what writing does for you, and what your finished project will do for the world. Dream a little, and you'll find that desire controlling your schedule.

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  • Thank you for this tips. I can share this to others and apply it myself too.

  • I absolutely love your tip on researching. It does distract you if you try to do it while writing. I am definitely going to use this tip. Thank you.
  • Hi Everyone, for years I have been planning to write a book. I am an avid reader and my passion for writing comes from reading. In February this year, I decided that if I did not sweep and dust everyday, nobody will notice, so why am I killing myself with such attention to detail when it comes to my home? I stopped. I started my book a day later and completed a 200 page book in just 6 weeks. It came back from editing and guess what? I am just about ready to in my manuscript. So how did I do it? I did the basic, necessary work before 07:30, showered and sat at my computer at 08:00. I took 4x 15 minute coffee breaks for the entire day, a one hour break for lunch and bashed my computer till 5pm. I just could not get enough, the ideas just came rolling in and I was anxious to put them on paper. I was told the publishing process would take 45 days. I can't wait.
  • Lots of useful tips. I started writing a book four years ago but have just managed to get half way through. I find it very challenging to moltivate my self to start writing. I'm writing a non-fiction and trying to search for the facts about what happen 50 yrs ago. Taking lots of notes, which are all over the place. some on my Pc, some in the scrap book. By reading all the tips from various writers gives me bit of push in the right direction. I'll givet a dead line to myself to finish this book on 31st Aug 2015.
  • This is great advice. Thanks for the reality check...yes who am I trying to impress. The clean house? Not any more.