Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Productitivity, Time Management For Writers, Writing

7 Time Management Mistakes Writers Make

Are you making the most of your time? Many writers find themselves juggling writing, another job or career, a family and other obligations. This can make it very challenging to find time to write consistently. Properly managing your time will make you a better writer because you will have more time to write and improve your skills.

Watch the video here

Today I am going to be sharing 7 time management mistakes that I see writers make on a regular basis. Many of them are mistakes that I have made in the past. I love to save other people from making my mistakes by sharing what I learned.

 

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Are you making one of these common time management mistakes?

 

 

#1. Failure to Plan

The biggest mistake a writer can make is not to have a written plan that includes written goals. This includes your writing plan as well a plan for your life in general. Planning is essential to finishing a book, being a consistent blogger or successful freelancer. Sure, you can finish a book by winging it but it will probably take a lot more time and effort.

 

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Are you making the right tasks a prioroity? 

 

 

#2. Failure to prioritize

If you want to be a writer it is important to make it a priority. To do that successfully you need to make time to write. Prioritize your writing (and life)  tasks by focusing on tasks that directly relate to making progress. Aspiring writers often claim they don’t have time to write but the bottom line is that we make time for the things that matter to us. Determine your priorities and prioritize your tasks.

 

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Do you use your to-do list correctly?

 

 

#3 Failure to use a to-do list correctly

Having a to-do list is am an important part of planning. Not only do some writers skip the list altogether, those who do use a to list aren’t using it correctly. Filling up a list with tasks to check off is a waste of time if those tasks are not directly related to making progress on your writing goals. I recommend keeping your daily to list limited to 6 priority tasks. My goal is always to complete 3 of those 6 tasks. Then if time allows I will work on the next 3 or work from a list of lesser important tasks.

 

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I once though multitasking was a GOOD thing. Boy, was I wrong. 

 

#4 Multitasking

I feel like superwoman when I multitask. The problem is that multitasking isn’t an effective way to manage our time or check of the important things from our to-do list. Focusing on one task at a time is a better use of time. I will have an entire blog post and video dedicated to multitasking later in February. So, make sure you are following my blog and subscribed to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss out.

 

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Do you write when creativity strikes or do you set aside time to write no matter what?

 

#5 Working Non-Stop AKA Not Setting Business Hours For Writing

The flip side of procrastinating is working non-stop. I made this mistake when I switched my writing from hobby mode to career mode. Working constantly, without taking breaks and giving yourself permission to rest guarantees you will reach a point of burn out.  Self-care, rewards, and scheduling your personal and family priorities before work will help achieve the balance needed.

 

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Is it a mistake to mix editing, writing, and researching during the same time frame?

 

#6 Mixing Research with Writing Time

Stopping in the middle of a writing about a car accident to research how a car accident looks, feels and sounds seems like a great idea at the time. I mean, you need to know what you are writing about, right? The problem is that when we stop writing, outlining or editing to research we risk losing the flow of our writing. We risk falling into to the rabbit hole that is the internet. Research is important but doing it at the right time is just as important when it comes to managing our time.

 

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I will stop procrastinating…tomorrow

 

#7 Procrastinating

Putting off a must do task always has an impact on our time. Our writing can come to a complete standstill when we procrastinate. I will have an entire blog post and video dedicated to why we procrastinate as well as tips to stop procrastinating.

The good news is that over the next four weeks I will be tackling all of these time management issues in a series of blog posts and videos. I did a lot of research regarding time management last year when I discovered I wasn’t using my time as wisely as I could. Then I implemented time management strategies and techniques in my own life. After experimenting and tweaking my process, I will say I that time management has allowed me to write more, write better, and still have a balanced life that includes my art hobby, my reading habit, spending time with family and friends, and managing my home.

 

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Posted in Goals & Goal Setting, Motivation, Uncategorized, vlog

Motivation Monday: 5 Tips to help you get and stay motivated.

Are you struggling to stay motivated? Procrastinating? You are in good company. I have been having those issues that last two weeks. It was beyond frustrating. It seemed that the more I focused on the problem the bigger it got.

I am the sort of person who likes to get to the root of the problem and fix it. I did some research, soul searching, and then came up with a plan to put into action. I wanted to share some of what I learned with you.

Watch my 5 Tips for Motivation Video

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What was causing my lag in motivation?

Summer. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. I adore summer. Hot weather, swimming, and not having to take the kids to school are all things that make me smile. I made the mistake of trying to do too many work related things. I felt like I was missing the summer fun and suddenly writing became a chore.

The next issue was that I did not have dedicated end time for my work day. I  was spending a lot of my evening time writing and working. All of that caught up with me and I found myself procrastinating about writing and then feeling guilty. On my research quest about I discovered a profound truth.

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Are you getting a bigger reward from NOT DOING the task than you are from finishing it?

Think about it. While procrastinating about writing I was doing things I enjoy. Reading, taking photos, playing around online, and swimming. I was rewarding myself for not doing the task. Even though I felt guilty about not writing I was still getting enjoyment from the things I was doing instead of writing.  The trick is to flip this. Reward yourself for finishing the task not putting it off.

5 Tips To Get & Stay Motivated:

  1. Make a list of Instant Gratification Rewards: Make a list of small but enjoyable things that you can reward yourself with immediately after finishing the task. Example: Write 30 minutes and then reward yourself by watching a funny video, reading a few pages, or having a treat.
  2. Use your rewards: Remember the key is that instant gratification. You want the rewards to keep you motivated. If you cheat yourself out of the reward you may find yourself lagging in motivation and rewarding yourself by procrastinating.
  3. Make a detailed schedule: Have a clear start and end time for the task. Don’t just plan to write 30 minutes today. Plan to write 30 minutes between blank time and blank time. Give yourself a deadline.
  4. Flexibility: Allow yourself some flexibility when things you can not control derail your plan. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty. This will only set you up for procrastination.
  5. Remove Distractions: When you have specific deadline and time set for the task set yourself up to succeed by removing all distractions.

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This week is already off to a great start. I took 3 days off from writing to research and enjoy life.  On Saturday morning I wrote 3000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo and it was amazing because my motivation was back.

What helps you stay motivated? What rewards to you rely on to stay motivated?