One of the most common challenges for authors is time management. It’s a struggle to balance career and family, but within the hours dedicated to work, one must balance writing time with admin, marketing, social media and the myriad other tasks that require attention.
Here are five time tamers to help authors stay organized, productive and sane.
1. Structure your day by 1) scheduling uninterrupted blocks of time and 2) grouping similar tasks. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done in as little as 15 or 20 minutes without interruptions. Similarly, bundling tasks that utilize the same tools, applications, even mindset, is more efficient than bouncing between creating graphics then answering an email then editing a few pages in your manuscript.
2. Create a To-Do list. If you’re not a list person, keep a notepad beside your keyboard. Jot down action items, thoughts or other mental clutter that distract you and dilute your focus so you can be more efficient and attentive to the task at hand.
3. Identify your peak performance time and handle complex or demanding tasks during this period. Are you a morning person or a night owl? When is your creativity the freshest and strongest? How long can you write or work before hitting the wall when nothing more stands a chance of being accomplished? Answering these questions about yourself will enable you to work smarter, not harder.
4. Prioritize your tasks so the important stuff gets done. Writing time should always be your top priority. Other top priorities include self-care and personal time.
5. Use a timer to enhance focus (no distractions checking the clock every few minutes) and stay on schedule. This is my all-time favorite time management trick because it’s simple and it works.
Are you an author who struggles with time wasters? What’s your favorite time tamer?