As a writer, time management is an important skill to have. There are deadlines to meet whether they’re from a publisher, agent, contest, or just personal.
If we’ve learned anything about writing over the past few years it’s that you need a good routine or schedule to accompany your writing. That’s where the time management skills come in.
It’s to help you keep writing on a regular basis; meet those deadlines, improve on your writing, finish that novel!
How can you manage your time effectively? There are many ways.
1. Set a timer.
When I write, I sometimes set a timer and try to write as much as I can in that set amount of time. If I have other things to do that day, I can set a timer for an hour. When that hour is over, I can officially say that I got some writing done. I won’t feel obligated to go back to it until the following day.
2. Set daily goals.
My goals include writing for two hours a day or write 2,000 words a day; whichever comes first. If time allows, I’ll write more words or write for a longer amount of time. If you want to write for two hours a day, you need to manage your time wisely and organize your day a bit so you can fit in those two hours every day.
3. Make a to-do list.
This can go along with number two, set daily goals. Every night before I go to bed I write a to-do list of things I want to get done the next day. I can complete the tasks in any order I want, just as long as they’re all crossed off by the end of the day.
4. Reward yourself.
Hit your daily goal? Did you write for a full two hours or write the entire time the timer was on? Reward yourself with something. It can be as little as eating a piece of chocolate or as big as buying yourself a new video game (that’s what I usually do when I win NaNoWriMo). The reward can vary depending on how little or how much you get done.
5. Stay focused.
Do people keep texting you while you’re trying to work? Do you have your favorite TV show on in the background? Turn it all off. Get rid of all the distractions. Every time you pick up your phone to answer a text, you’re wasting precious writing time. I know some people need noise to help them focus; I usually listen to instrumental music. That way I can’t sing along and get distracted by the lyrics.
6. Find out when you work best.
Are you a morning person? Night owl? Pin-point the time you’re most awake, most alert, and most productive in your day. I guarantee you will get a lot more done if you work at your certain time of day. For me, I work better in the morning. I wake up extra early just to write before I go to my day job. Because who’s not tired upon coming home from their job?
The more you manage your time, the more organized you will be. The more organized you are, the more you’ll get done.
How do you manage your time and write effectively?