Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Time Management Tips for Writers

by Alycia W. Morales     @AlyciaMorales

Life has a way of taking over, and it always seems to be my writing that suffers. For the past few years, I've been working as a freelance editor—and a very busy one at that. Between the editing and busyness four kids entail, I've let my writing dreams take a shelf. No longer. Based on what I've been taught over the past seven years, I'm setting a schedule and sticking to it. Here are a few of those tips:

7 Time Management Tips for Writers {Click to Tweet}

1. Start your morning with God. I don't know about you, but if I skip my morning quiet time with the Lord, things don't go very well the rest of the day. It may not be evident in the events of the day, but I can always tell my stress levels are up and my patience levels are down. I need that time with the Lord to gain the peace only He can provide. Other benefits to quiet time with Father? Reassurance of His love. Direction. Healing. Freedom. Creativity. Just to name a few...

2. Half an hour of social media first. As writers, we're assured we need a platform. Social media and blogging are two ways to help build that platform. After your quiet time, spend half an hour scheduling your social media posts across sites for the day. Use HootSuite and preschedule those posts so you don't have to be tempted back to Facebook or Instagram until you've gotten your day's work finished. What to share? Quotes. Memes. Links to pertinent information for your audience. Questions to get your audience sharing. Interesting facts. Something interesting to you or about you that will pull your audience closer to you. And remember the golden rule: 5 posts that promote someone else to every 1 post that promotes you.

3. Find your golden hours. Every creative person has a certain time of day they are most creative. When's yours? Mine happens to be mid-morning until early afternoon. It's definitely not after 6:00 PM when I can no longer put two sentences together. Know your creative golden hours and do your writing then.

4. Schedule the other tasks around that time. I'm an editor and, as of this year, a ghostwriter. I have clients lined up through the end of 2017. I will work on their projects around those golden hours when I'll be writing my own novels or blogging.

5. Make one day a week the day you run errands for your household. I know that Fridays tend to be the days I am out and about getting groceries, taking care of household business, etc. So, I plan to work four days a week, Monday through Thursday, and spend Friday taking care of everything else. I spend the day working the weekly household budget, paying bills, grocery shopping, dropping bags to the thrift shop, and anything else that needs accomplishing.

6. Pick a day of the month to dedicate to appointments for your household. My doctor isn't in the office one afternoon every month. That's his dedicated day for dentist appointments, doctor appointments, etc. Granted, kids will get sick or break bones any day of the week, but if you know you have annual checkups and cleanings coming up, pick one day a month to schedule these. That will allow you to stick to your schedule and not be running 50 directions all week.

7. Let everyone who typically interrupts your schedule (family, friends, church family) know that you are running a business and cannot be interrupted anymore. Turn the ringer off on your phone or set text messages to Do Not Disturb and get to work. If you're going to make an income, you need regular office hours just like any other businessman or woman. It's time to set healthy boundaries and minimize interruptions.

I hope these tips will help you! Now, I'm off to set my schedule in motion and let my household know I have a job to do. If you have any tips you'd like to add, please feel free to share them in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you! These tips are spot on. I totally agree with #1. If I don't start my day (or end my day) talking with our Lord, something just feels off. Blessings. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wendy Herrmann SmithJune 7, 2017 at 9:55 PM

    #5 and #7- thanks for those.

    ReplyDelete

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