You cannot manage time, rather you learnt to manage the events in your life in relation to time. Oftentimes, we wish for more time to complete some tasks but we only have 24 hours in each day. How you use that time depends on your planning and self discipline.
Time management is one of the greatest challenges faced by most writers, most especially when you as a writer is the editor, publisher and marketer. Just like money time is limited and very valuable, as such it must be used wisely, guarded and budgeted.
As a writer, you have to find the best time management strategy that fits your personality depending on your level of self discipline. Hopefully, by adapting some or all of the 6 strategies below, you can effectively manage your time well and get your book or article finished in time.
Evaluate How you Spend your Time
A great way to start is by keeping records of your activities at different time intervals of the day for a week. Then evaluate your results by checking to see if you did everything you need to, determine which task require the most time, the time you are most productive and where most of your time is devoted, which could be to your family, job or personal life.
After doing this you get to have a clear idea of the amount of time required for your usual tasks and then become more realistic on the time you should allocate to your writing.
Set your Priorities Straight
This will require you to differentiate between what is important and what is urgent. Most often we tend to spend time on activities that are not important not withstanding their urgency. Focusing on the most important activity allows you to maximize your time and help you become more productive.
One way to set your priorities straight and help you stay on track is go make a “to do” list of all your activities. It could be set daily, weekly or monthly depending on your lifestyle, then rank these activities in order of importance and urgency.
Doing this will help you mark off the most important items at the top of the list and give you the chance to avoid some activities that may be interesting but not important.
Find your Writing Corner
Most at times when I sit down on my bed with a pen and paper to write, I end up not reproductive for long periods of time. This was due to much distractions from a familiar surrounding which included my bed, furniture and room as a whole. To become more productive I had to find a neutral environment where I could write more comfortably.q
Your writing corner will be a place at is void of distractions. It could be a little corner of your home or office that will be solely for your writings. You could also take your writing out to a local area that is not heavily crowded and write.
There are variety of reasons why you might be putting of settling down to write. It could be that you’re writing on a topic that seem overwhelming or a topic that might not be interesting to your person. If you find it hard to get started, try creating a reward system for yourself.
Personally, after collecting the necessary materials and organizing my notes, I make sure to set aside an interesting treat for myself which could range from watch an interesting movie or a fictional novel. I use these to reward myself after writing my article.
Start with the hardest Task
You could also start with tasks that seem hard and cumbersome to you by getting them done and moving from there. Some writers refer to it as eating that frog. It simply means you get to tackle the hardest task first as this can boost your energy level up and offer psychological satisfaction for having accomplishing the hardest task, making the smaller tasks easier to carry out.
Whenever you try juggling so many activities at the same time in order to save time, you end up not being efficient in any of them. You tend to lose focus on the most important tasks you should have prioritized.
It is more advisable to take each task one step at a time in their order of importance as discussed in step 2.
Whichever time management strategies you decide on, be sure to evaluate how they have worked for you. Ask yourself questions like:
• Are you accomplishing the task that is of utmost importance to you? • Do you have a healthy balance between work and home life? • Are you investing time in your own personal wellbeing?
If the answer is no in any case, then reconsider your time management strategies and select the ones that works best for you.
As a writer, which time management strategy do you employ and how has it worked out for you? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comment box.