Thursday, March 3, 2011

Managing Time Journal

I can't speak for every writer out there, but I'm pretty sure I can say with confidence that most writers struggle with managing their time.

There are seminars and classes and blogs about this subject all over the place. But who has the time to invest in them?

Exactly why I'm trying to help out by posting some ideas on my blog. A blog, I hope, you already planned on reading so it isn't wasting any of that precious writing time. ::grins::

So, in order to save time, let's start a time management journal. And let's start with the very moment we wake up.

My mom used to tell me, anything that takes less than five minutes to do, should be done immediately. I used to think that was just her way of trying to motivate me to doing the things she wanted me to do. Hey--I was a teenager, it seemed logical at the time to see a conspiracy there. But this advice, as it happens, is some of the best advice.

Keep some paper and pens on your nightstand and make a daily to do list including writing goals and five minute items the moment you wake up. Write down non-writing goals, too.


- Don't write your daily schedule a week at a time, because what we want to do changes too often. How many times are you trying to fit something in during the week? Sometimes, I'll wake up with a book idea and want to put it down on paper before I forget. Well...that's going to push the blog post I wanted to type up out of the way in order to get to my 2k daily word count.

-Don't include checking your email, or checking facebook, or checking twitter as one of your "five minute" items.

Now that you're done writing everything down. Do everything that's going to take you just a few minutes (Scheduling doctor appointments and the like. Maybe posting a tweet or status update--don't start reading! This is best done on a program like Tweet Deck where you hit your Facebook and Twitter simultaneously and then close it! You can come back later.)

Write down how long it took you to get through your five minute list in your journal.

Now start on your bigger projects, starting with the ones you don't do on a daily basis, but you need to get done today. Keep track of each thing you do individually so you know, if you do it again, about how long it will take you. Good examples is blogging or grocery shopping. You might not do it every day, but you should know about how long it takes you. Don't guesstimate. KNOW your average.

The same "rule" applies when you're going through your usual daily goals. Don't guess how long it takes you, know. By the end of two weeks, or maybe a month if you're schedules are crazy, you should know about how long you need to do certain things and voila! You can create a schedule where you utilize every minute of the day to the best of your ability.

Oh...and make sure to schedule yourself some time off from schedules and goals. No one likes a burn-out.

Well, that's it for my big Time Management suggestion...time for me to cross this blog post off mine.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Shup up and type!

A quick reminder to myself and all my writer friends...just TYPE!

Whatever we say, doesn't have to make sense. Just type. Whatever typos appear every damned page...just keep typing! There are so many times I get wrapped up in the simple things, I stall out and stare beyond my computer screen (which is actually good for writers to do every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to save their eyes).

I'm trying to get in the habit of chanting "just type" when I get in these ruts that can have me struggling to get a sentence down for days. I'm having one of those moments now, so no better time to practice what I'm preaching here.

Just type.
Just type.

Okay, I'm going to go type.