Time seems to be a Goliath that many of us David writers wrestle with.
I have a confession. I regularly struggle with my time—especially when writing fiction.
I look at my “to do” list and freak out. I’m guessing I’m not alone.
Despite the challenges we face, there are proven tactics that can really help us sit down and write.
Here are my top five tips to tackling time:
1 – Identify Your Productivity Zone
Figure out when you are most able to write. For me, it’s usually early in the morning or late at night. You know you’re in the zone when you can crank out writing. When in the zone, I can easily write a few well-written thousands of words.
When I’m out of the zone, I’m lucky to write a single paragraph all day. Find the zone and you’re on your way to more productive writing.
2 – When in the Zone, ONLY Write
If you’re like me, you would rather respond to email or make phone calls when in the zone. Get in the habit of only writing when in your zone.
3 – How to Stay Focused on Writing
Despite your best efforts, you’ll get dragged out of the writing zone—often. To prevent this, you need a defensive plan. Here are some tactics:
- Don’t check e-mail or social media. I often don’t read my email until the afternoon. Email or checking social media is disruptive. By its very nature, email takes you off track.
- Turn off your phones. Just turn off your phone. Do not even look at it. Pretend it’s the 1800s and they haven’t even been invented it.
- Shut the door. If you can, shut the door to your room and hang out a “Do not disturb” sign.
- Use music. Put some classical or ambiental music on. Not only does this help you focus, it also drowns out background noise. I have heard that some classical music actually stimulates creative brainwaves.
4 – How to Accomplish More Writing
I have two tips to share here:
- Write free flow. This means just get the words down and worry about how they sound later. The result is you don’t worry about spelling and grammar, you just write.
- Set easy to accomplish writing tasks. Make a goal of writing one page while in your productivity zone, or some other easy objective. It is much easier to write when you have a clear daily deliverable.
5 – Reward Yourself for Getting Writing Done
When you meet your goals, reward yourself. Give yourself an incentive to write and you will write more.
Now go forward and write!
What other tactics have you used to gain writing time?