Do you want to write and can’t find time? Are you procrastinating? This three-step plan will help.
STEP 1 – GET SERIOUS
Getting serious is the first and the most important part of this three-step plan for easy time management. Ask yourself the following questions – note the wording carefully!
A. Do you really want to write?
B. Or, do you really want to have written?
If so, your problem isn’t just about personal time management – maybe you are short on motivation.
Sometimes life can leave us too tired or drained to feel motivated. If this is you there is help here.
Being serious means approaching your writing as though it was your regular job.
Make decisions about when you will write. Then keep a writing diary and schedule your writing.
Stick to that schedule as though there was the meanest, most bad-tempered boss in charge of that schedule. Then sit down, and once you get the first batch of words on the page – the rest will follow!
If you don’t know where to start then the best thing to do is try some creative writing exercises. These will trigger ideas and help get you into the routine of writing.
STEP 2 – WRITE REGULARLY AND FREQUENTLY
Easy time management is about being realistic about your schedule. There is no point in deciding you will write for twenty hours per week when you are already juggling a full-time job and a whole host of family commitments.
Also check out your to-do-list. Is it realistic? Or is it a list so long you have no hope of getting through it?
Keeping your to-do-list manageable is a vital component of easy time management. If your to-do-list is out of control read this.
If you can only write for a half hour a day, then that is fine – as long as you write regularly you will get there in the end.
If you write for 4 half hour sessions per week that means 2 hours per week. 2 hours per week makes 104 hours per year – that’s a lot of words!
Becoming a writer means never letting anything get between you and putting words on the page.
Okay, so far you have been realistic. You are going to write for half an hour per day on the weekdays. So there you are on a Monday evening. You sit down at seven pm and wait for inspiration.
At ten past seven the phone rings. At quarter past seven one of the kids has lost his sock. At twenty past seven, your partner needs you to help them unblock the sink.
At twenty-five past seven your friends calls in to see if you want to go out for a drink. At half past seven you are still chatting on the phone, sorting laundry, pulling the sink apart, or sitting on a stool at a bar and there are no words on the page!
STEP 3 – SAY NO!
If you recognized yourself in the above paragraph then you must learn to say no, politely, but firmly. Tell everyone you are not available at the time you scheduled to write.
If anyone interrupts you remind them. If they interrupt again keep reminding them until they learn to leave you alone. If you have a door – lock it.
If you really find it so very difficult to ask your family and friends to leave you alone for a short space of time, then go out.
Go to a café, a library or weather permitting; sit on a bench at the park.
Do not feel guilty; we are all entitled to some time alone. You are not neglecting your family by claiming some time to yourself.
By setting boundaries and showing commitment to your writing you are setting a good example. Everyone is entitled to some time to themselves! Everybody – especially you!
Best of luck with your writing.
Read more about time management.
Read about how to deal with procrastination.