I’ve discovered that, often, the way we execute projects swiftly or slowly is proportional to exactly how productive we engage our time. And the ugly truth is that time doesn’t wait for no man.
That being said; let me take you on a little journey. Just imagine this scenario:
Poor John is sitting lazily on the chair and busily chewing on one of his left fingernails amid watching the late night football match showing presently on the coloured TV in front of him.
The time being 4pm, he consciously knows that if he doesn’t come up with those 7 articles before 12pm of that same day, that he’d be queried seriously by his clients – or even worse, he might end up being fired, since missing deadline these days has become a norm for him.
He shakes his head and covers his face with his palm.Does he have writer’s block? Nah. He doesn’t have that presently.
John gets up, goes to the working chair that is adjacently facing his laptop and sits down.
Opening Google he types – how do I manage time effectively as a writer?
And Yes, John likes telling himself the truth – this is exactly his problem and he needs help.
Now, back to reality. This short scene above is exactly what a lot of writers are going through presently. They can’t manage their time effectively and they’re readily looking for remedy to the problem because some of their clients are hanging on a string about to be cut loose.
So, I’ll like to ask – are you presently among those writers who currently have this problem? Do you want to get time on your side as writer? And do you want to meet tight deadlines, daily?
You do? Then, these 8 time management tips will help you a great deal. So read and apply them now. These are the tips
Have a Time You wake up Daily
To know how much time you waste daily, you’d need to look specifically on how long a time you sleep and what time exactly you lazily wake up each day.
As a writer, waking up by 6 or 7AM is to me the ideal period you should be up in other to be able to do numerous house chores, so that by 9AM you’d be writing and there would be no more distractions or house chores that might affect or attract your attention.
That being said, If you’re a late night person like me who’s usually awake and working till the wee hours of 2pm; then I’ll advise you to set your alarm to a 7 or 7:30AM wake up ring in other to have at least 3 hours sleep before work time.
But if you’re an early sleeper, then I’ll advise you to wake up by 6 or 6:30AM in other to do house chores and prepare for your writing by approximately 8:30AM. This way, if you have like 5,000 words of content to come up with for that day, it won’t end up being too much of a burden since you started quite early, and writing early enables you to surpass your expectation and also finish quick. An buying guide like this is not easy to finish, so you’d better properly prepare!
In addition to all these that have been said – starting a daily wake up routine as a writer doesn’t come gift wrapped, because sleeping is a pleasurable moment and trying to force yourself to a strict wake up habit will naturally be very hard.
But it can still be accomplished. If you’re a deep sleeper and you seriously want to engage in this habit, then it either you have a loud alarm to wake you up or you can tell someone – preferably a natural early-riser – to wake you up whenever he or she wakes up.
Do a little Warm up Daily
Now, we all know how what exercising daily can do for the body. Apart from making you feel energized, daily exercise can also keep blood circulation to your brain in a rich and healthy balance, which helps you stay more focused and writer more better without any clutter.
Also, writing first thing in the morning can be considered as an “early morning exercise”, too. This early writing helps to introduce you or warm you up for the main writing of the day.
And the ideal amount of words to write daily – as pertaining this early morning writing – should be 1000 words (it’s not a must, but this can help you better when you start your main writing later in the day.).
Now, you might ask, “What in heaven’s name should I write?”
Anything at all! But if you keep a diary or journal, then it quite ideal for the daily writing exercise. If you don’t keep any, you can just write on any topic that comes to your mind that morning. Any topic at all.
For those who might want to start a daily writing exercise online, you can use Penzu as your writing journal or online diary.
Just make sure you warm your brain and fingers up before you enter into the main course of writing that you’ve to finish up that day.
Face Your Distractions Early
This is another awesome time management tip you can leverage as a writer. First thing in the morning, make sure you have all your time wasting habits thoroughly done to your satisfaction before you embark on writing.
Habits like going through facebook, twitter, answering important calls and up to the most distracting distractions of all – checking emails – but nevertheless, do them all in the morning period.
This way, when the time for writing has finally come, it will become a distraction free time since you’ve already done and taken care of everything that might derail your flow during that period.
And as you already guessed, I’m not depicting that you should take up the entire morning time to do all your “writing distracting habits”; but doing each of those distracting habits in the morning before you write, amid being time conscious will help you be a more productive and time conscious writer.
De-clutter Your Workspace
Are you among those that literally have dungeons of workloads, both finished and unfinished writing notes and books littered everywhere on the table? If you’re one, then there is serious need for you to clear off that jam-packed workplace because a stuffed working area usually leaves a writer highly unproductive.
So, clear off those tattered notes you have no use off anymore. Pick and arrange those scattered writing materials on the table. Pack the to-do lists – both the finished and unfinished ones – and also pack up and arrange those scattered books you don’t even plan on reading yet.
When you go along with de-cluttering your workspace, you’ll find out that you’re more focused on the present writing job and that you have more zeal to accomplish it than when you had like 50 littered notes and books everywhere.
The funny thing with procrastinating a writing that needs to be done urgently to another time, is that the delay won’t “write” or do your “writing” for you. Where you graciously left it when you procrastinated is exactly where you will still find it.
As a writer, I’d like you to know that procrastinating isn’t a friend of time management, but rather, it’s a very close friend to laziness. So, for you to do some work and be little bit productive with your time, you will have to assign every writing tasks to a definite deadline. When you don’t – you naturally procrastinate.
Therefore, when you want to write – assign a deadline to it. How long will you write and how many articles or chapters will you complete at what time? These also need time constraint, too.
Not attaching an exact time or deadline to each individual writings might expose you to distractions that will surely lead to procrastination. With that said, delegate time to each writing by means of your to-do list.
Also, apart from setting time for your writings, another way procrastination can emanate is through visible distractions readily available at a snap of your finger. Make sure to clear out those visible distractions, like turning off the TV, Internet, PSP, and other unmentioned visible distractions that you alone know of.
And if you’re like me who is addicted to the Internet, then using this pomodoro time management app below will help you block those sites that you spend too much time on, so that you can focus more and write better without any Internet distractions.
Have and Make a “Daily List”
A to-do list is a prerequisite if you ever want to cover a large amount of writing and work in a single day. In the evening of everyday, before you go to sleep, try and map out exactly what mundane or gigantic house chores you’d be doing and the exact writings you have to write up the next day, too.
Separate each of the tasks with “big task” and “small task” in other to specify their importance – this way; you’d know which ones are necessary to carry out first and which ones should be undertaken later.
And this will drastically help you have a clearer tomorrow when you wake up to it. Since you won’t be afraid of the sheer sizes of the chores, because you already know each chore that needs to be done that day, and you also know exactly which ones need to be achieved first and which to leave to the latter time.
Research First Before Writing
When you embark on writing a post or a story without proper research, you tend to stall as you write because your brain doesn’t have enough information to send to the keyboard or pen, so instead of you writing gloriously, writer’s block will then set in.
Remember: Writer’s block is an inability to write when you want to write, and it can be caused or triggered when you lack materials pertaining to what you’re trying to write on because you haven’t yet search or re-search properly.
However, in other not to fall into the traps of writer’s block, search and read about what you’re about to write about. After doing this, you’d notice that when you write, you no longer have to go online to check out more information on some part that have gone blurry in your mind due to under-research.
You can use store those researched material you searched for in Evernote, and you can also snap screen and clip screenshots with Evernote’s skitch, too. These two apps will aid you research better and faster.
Write now. . Delete Later
This is the honest way to write faster and better. Multi-tasking during writing is one major way to slow the process of finishing a writing in a swiftly manner.
The writing that’s suppose to take 1 hour might end up taking 3 hours due to the fact that every little grammatical error would end up being deleted as you write.
So, the best thing to engage will be to limit the amount of time you hit the backspace button.
Have a resolution not to delete anything you write, but only get back to it when you’re through with your writing.
In addition, these are some apps that will help you more in your writing in other for you to end up a better time keeper.
Windows Live Writer – This fantastic software allows you to write your blog post offline and then send it directly to a WordPress blog for publishing. Believe me; it does reduce the amount of time you waste trying to copy post to your dashboard.
DropBox – This app keeps all your writings, important files and other contents, all synchronized to their database. The good news is you can access all your important files, contents and writings from any computer in any part of the world.