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Find More Time (for Writing)

10 Ways to Fit More Writing Time into Each Day

Most of us wish there were more hours in the day. But be honest with yourself, even if you had more hours, would you just waste them away?

Ask any successful writer and they’ll tell you that it’s not the number of hours you have, but how you use them. By learning and practicing effective time management techniques, you can get more life stuff done and also have more time to write.

Here are 10 simple things you can do today to work more efficiently:

1. Prioritize Better. Narrow down everything you have to do to just three to five manageable items. Put these tasks in order from most to least important so that you’re focusing on what’s essential. If you do this, you’ll eliminate nonessential, time-wasting activities.

2. Set Time Blocks. Create a block of time for each task you have to do and decide exactly how long you’ll do it. For example, one hour per day on an ongoing project or thirty minutes a day on Facebook. This keeps you on track and prevents you from spending too long on any one task.

3. Take Regular Breaks. If you write for too long, you may lose focus and burn out. Break up activities with short rest periods. Stretch your legs, rest your eyes from the screen and let your mind drift. Then, you can get back to what you’re doing with renewed energy and creativity. The Pomodoro method suggests writing for 25-minute blocks with 5-minute breaks.

4. Remove Distractions. Guard your writing time against all others. Turn off all notifications and sign out of social media. Let people know that you’re working and not to be bothered. If there’s something urgent, tell the person you’ll get to it when you’re done.

5. Perform a Time Audit. Keep track of how you spend your time each day with a timer or app. Over the course of several days, a picture will emerge showing how you actually spend your time. You may be surprised at where you’re wasting it!

6. Choose Optimal Times. There’s an optimal time of day for each type of task. For example, you may be most adept at editing in the late morning or most creative in the evening. Identify these times and use them to schedule your daily writing, publishing and marketing tasks more effectively.

7. Schedule Fun Time. When making your daily schedule, set aside time for entertainment, mindless distraction, gentle exercise, and pure fun. You can indulge in these activities during breaks from tougher things, or use them as a reward for completing tasks.

8. Don’t Multitask. Contrary to what many believe, multitasking doesn’t make you more productive. In fact, it ruins your focus and prevents you from getting any one task done efficiently. Focus on one thing at a time.

9. Get Organized. Organize your workspace so that everything is where you need it and easily accessible. This will cut down on the time you spend searching for things and doing on-the-spot organizing. Set aside a little time daily or weekly to clean up, organize, and put things away.

10. Keep Goals in Mind. Everyone writes for a different reason. Before blindly following a publishing checklist (even ours), ask if it is directly helping you reach your publishing goals.

Want to learn more about setting effective priorities, managing time, and working more efficiently to achieve your write goals? Click below and check out my free webinar.

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