The cold, hard truth of writing is: it takes time. And though all of us have the same amount of minutes in the day, it can be a challenge to find the time to sit down and actually write. Here’s a few tips on how writers can use their time more wisely and effectively.
1) Make a list by priority
Make a list of all the things you have to do in your life. Prioritize them with the most important/critical things at the top. Analyze the list and decide if there is anything that could be pushed lower. Ask yourself if there items you are currently prioritizing higher than your most important goals. You’d be surprised at how helpful it is to commit your busy schedule to a list and really think about it.
2) Plan out your time
Block out time in your day to actually write and don’t schedule anything else then. Protect this time just like you would a critical appointment. Be a professional and treat this blocked out time like you are “on the clock” at a job you are getting paid for. Actually use your mobile phone’s powerful calendar and task apps to keep track of your schedule and always write everything down.
3) Do the hardest things first
This is one of the most powerful tips I have ever learned. you know that task you are putting off because it’s too hard or you are just not in the mood to do? You know that thing you keep making up excuses not to do? DO THAT TASK FIRST. Seriously, do the hardest, most annoying, most easily procrastinated task first. Suck it up, sit down, and get it done. Push through. You will be amazed at how your productivity increases when you focus on the hardest writing tasks first.
4) Know yourself
When do you do best writing? What time of day are you most in the creative mood for writing? Figure out what works best for you and then schedule to do your writing at the right time.
5) Break things down
Break down big tasks into smaller tasks. Do you have an overwhelmingly complex book and a tight deadline? Break the book down into small writing bursts. Then mark your calendar to plan every step.
6) Figure out what is getting in the way
What activities are affecting your schedule? Can you cut back on the time you spend on less important tasks or cut something out completely? Where are you spending time that could be better put toward one of your real goals? Let go of something less important. Focus.
7) Eat healthy, exercise, & get your sleep
Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner EVERY DAY. Make sure your meals are balanced with fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Cut back on sugar, junk food, and soda. Do something active for at least 20 minutes every day. Get 8 hours of sleep and try to get to bed at a similar time each night. Getting your body on a schedule, eating healthy, and exercising will do more to get the creative juices flowing more than anything else.