Pro tips on time management for writers

Time Management for Authors

We all hear the phrase ‘time management’ and still marvel at the fact as to where all our hours and sometimes even weeks go. We all wish we had more time on hand. Time management is increasing your efficiency in dealing with the time you have available. Since it has always been associated with management, and this leads many to believe that it’s not something that authors, writers, and artists, or any creative person should worry about. Authors and writers are creating parallel universes, a different world from their imaginations while dealing with a job, relationships, and commitments. It’s safe to say that they need time management more than anyone else. Time management for book writing is of vital importance. The advantages of completing you book in a timely fashion is unparalleled. It won’t matter if you go with self-publishing or traditional publishing. As a writer when you are already pressed for time, reading or trying to understand time management will feel like one more thing to do when you have no time. It might seem daunting and even unreasonable. Mostly you will like the idea, but will not know where to begin. This article will tell you step by step where and how to begin your time management journey.

The Now

Like all journeys, you need to ascertain where your starting point is. The current reality is the first thing you need to be aware of in order to manage your time more effectively and efficiently. To map your time you need to first spend some time and jot down the details regarding; 1. Current time spent 2. Most efficient areas 3. Distractions 4. Degree of focus 5. Productive time of the day You will have to think and reflect deeply to understand your current time allocation and management. This is the key to time management for authors. The best way is to maintain a time log for a few days. The time log can be split into parts of 15-20-minute duration. The log should be filled in whenever you can during the day but you should try to be disciplined about it. It’s necessary that you record in detail as to what you did with your time. If you write just work for 9 am to 5 pm slot then that description will not give us any insight. The idea is to fill the 15-20 slots with descriptions and this will provide us with helpful information. After a few days, you will have a detailed log of how your current time is being spent. And now you can reflect on this with the above points in mind to have a clear understanding of where you stand. As an author it’s very important that you do this exercise for effective time management.

The Way

The next order of business is where you want to be. This is where you choose the goal or milestone for your writing career. For someone just beginning out the milestone could be to finish the first novel or someone might aspire to be a full-time author. If you don’t have a goal in mind immediately then you need to ask yourself what do you wish to achieve in the next 6-12 months. It could be that you wish to publish a book or partner with someone on a project or monetize on your writing, etc. It’s necessary to know what you are aiming for. If you aspire to finish your first novel then your time management will appear very different from someone who is shifting professions to become a small publisher. Now with your goals in mind, you can review your time management and accordingly make changes. There is no magic pill for time management. A good beginning is to analyze the current activity in light of the goal or milestone you need to achieve. A person writing a novel will want to manage time in such a way that he gets to write the maximum time. That’s the overview or the big picture. The details and techniques will be different for different individuals. There are some pointers which are given below- 1. Writing First – The most important time management technique is to make writing the first thing that you do when you get up. The feeling that you have words written down on paper before being pulled by the demands of the day is a very nice feeling. 2. Use breaks – Many people don’t work the entire time. They generally waste time on social media or gossip with friends. It’s necessary to plan the time in a way that you use to manage your social media, research, etc. 3. Group activities – If you a doing a particular activity and if there is scope to immerse yourself in it and do it completely or group similar activity to achieve more with your time. You can sit and map out the social media plan for the entire month etc. 4. NO – If you wish to achieve your goals and milestones you will have to learn to say no to some things and that is OK. 5. Delegate – If there are some activities that someone else could do and you are able to delegate those, then that’s the best thing. Time saved can always be used for writing. So ask fro support and make sure that the people around you are doing their fair share so that the load is of you and you can focus on writing more. 6. Limitations – There will be aspects of your writing work that are not your strong suit. If there is something that will take a lot of time and effort from your side but the result will be a below-par version, you need to accept that for managing time better that does not make sense. It might be better to pay someone or trade skills or barter and to focus on your strengths. 7. Distractions – Distractions will never disappear but can only be limited. You need to work on your distractions by identifying them and understanding as to how they affect you. Then you need to work on reducing them. 8. Notifications – If you don’t change your notification settings then you will be drawn into constant updates from a zillion apps all the time. You need to turn off notifications that are not urgent and allocate time to deal with them all. 9. Email – You need to fix a discipline for this part. There might not be a need to check your email every now and then. This article would have given you some food for though on how you can manage your current time better. Hoping you are able to improve your time management and find more time to write. Time management impacts every aspect on book making including book writing, book editing, book design, book promotion etc. If you opt for self-publishing, then there are many book publishing packages that you can take. But working on time manage is something that the author has to do on his own. Even a good book faces challenges of book publishing but the satisfaction of giving your best is something that no one can take away from you.