Time Management for Writers

Publishing 101 Step 4: Managing Your Time

[The Business of Writing]

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clockPublishing your book won’t just happen…you have to make it happen. You have to set aside money to make it happen. You have to set aside time to make it happen. We will talk about your budget soon. Today, let’s talk about your time.

How do you spend your time? Like most of us, you are probably quite busy balancing work, family, social life, growth, spiritual life, etc. But we all have the same amount of time each day and each week.

Why is it that some people seem to get more done and/or have more time to work on their book and publishing goals?

Simply stated, they make time.

I know, you are a creative, which means that right-brained, linear thinking messes you up. Timelines, schedules, they just won’t work for you.

Maybe you are right. But before we debate the merits of different time management programs, let’s first talk about how your are using the time that you have.

If you want to spend your time differently, you need to determine how you are spending your time now.

Here’s How: Take notes on everything you do for the next three or four days in 15-minute increments. What time do you get up? Have breakfast? How long does it take? Do you sit with a cup of coffee and watch some morning news? Do you spend too much time online following rabbit trails and wasting precious minutes? What do you do after work or in the evenings? Where can you trim your schedule?

I’m not asking you to give up everything you enjoy. I don’t even do that. I happen to like a morning cup of coffee with my favorite morning news team. But I no longer sit with them for two hours every morning. That wastes my time. I do sit with them for the first 20 minutes while I drink my coffee and consider my day. So you see, I don’t have to give it all up, but cutting back on that activity has freed 90 minutes in my day.

That one simple change has given me all the time I need in the morning to write my blogs or work on a book.

Reaching a big goal takes big commitment. You need to make the time to work on the goal every day. You need to learn to balance your work and family and social life, and cut back on time-wasting activities so you can dedicate some time every day to your publishing process.

I am not going to tell you exactly how to manage your time (past what I already have). We are each unique with different priorities and commitments. We also have different things that work better for each of us. (Coach’s Note: I do work with my one-on-one clients with specific time management skills that benefit their personalities…)

If you need more guidance on what kind of time management you need, there are a host of ideas by time management pros online–I have decided not to reinvent the wheel here. My friend, life coach Sage Grayson, also has a number of great time management resources over at SageGrayson.com/worksheets. (She even has a tool to track every 15-minute block of your day–plus a ton of great ideas and programs to help you get control of your life.) Be sure to say hey to her for me!

What about you?

What will you do this week to make sure you make time every day to work on your writing on publishing goals?


Share below! You never know when your idea will help someone else out too!

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