Wednesday, August 11, 2010
3 Ways to Manage Your Time
1. Prioritise. How important is writing to you? Are you happy with it to remain a hobby or would you like to make a career out of writing? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. If you want to make a career of it, then you have to treat it like any other job. When it is time to go to work, then you need to find a way of switching off from all other distractions and write.
2. Schedule. A great way of finding time to write is schedule a time to write. This not only helps you, but it also helps your family members. They will get used to the time you devote to writing especially if you have a regular schedule for it. They will even help you to stick to that schedule.
At this point I need to add that some people – me included – don’t like the rigidity of schedules. I can’t stick to one rule for schedules because I need a level of flexibility. I try to write every day. I try to start writing my WIP at 9.30am at the latest Monday-Friday. I take 30min lunch break (sometimes 40mins) and then I write some more until 2-3pm. If my writing is cooking then I’ll keep going. I don’t often write past 4.30pm, although it has been known to happen on that sweet rare occasion. Of course, that schedule goes out the window on the weekends, but that’s ok, as long as I find some time to write.
3. Make Goals. The best way I’ve found to manage my time is working with word count goals. My minimum goal per week is 7000 words. My daily word count is a loose 1000 words a day. Some days I can only squeeze out 400 words. That might sound sad and disappointing, but with my weekly goal, I can play catch up without having to bemoan the lack of progress. Some days I’ve written 1000 words in an hour so I keep writing and take great joy in the bonus words. With these relatively easy goals, I’m able to feel a sense of achievement with my writing and I’m able to push myself more if I’m close to a self-made deadline.
Of course, you don’t have to give yourself micro goals to help you manage your time. You can give yourself a broader goal. For example, you can tell yourself you want to finish your first draft by September.
When all is said and done, there is no point comparing yourself to anyone else. You have to find what works for you.
What are some tricks you’ve found that help you manage your time?