Time Management in Seven Easy Tips
by Zena Shapter
Time management is easy when you know these tips and tricks to find focus, and stay there!
1. Time management begins with thinking about what you’re going to write before you actually start. Thinking is free and you can do it anywhere. I’m always thinking about what I’m going to say/write in my next story, work project, emails or blogs. When I sit down to write, it just pours out.
2. When standing at the bus stop, waiting for water to boil, during advertisement breaks on the TV… hop onto your iPhone (or similar) and quickly check your social media, emails, and any blog posts you bookmarked for ‘later.’ Making use of extra pockets of time will help keep you updated. When you sit down to write, you won’t be lured by Facebook or Twitter. In fact, when writing, try to write far away from the internet and its dark distractions.
3. Find hidden opportunities to write. For example, while you’re in transit. I don’t drive (yes, yes – I know – there’s no need to roll your eyes!), so I catch a lot of buses, trains and ferries. That’s where my iPhone really comes in handy. I also take my laptop with me if I’m going to be on the bus for more than an hour (highly likely in Sydney). I’ve even been known to edit while cooking the kids dinner!
4. Take notes. It will help keep your mind clear. What’s the point in having a brilliant idea if you forget it later? I make notes on my iPhone. That way, when I start writing, I don’t spend valuable time working up ideas.
5. Pick your favorite social media forums for promoting your writing and stay most up-to-date on those, ie., daily checking. On the rest, stay generally up-to-date, ie., check every 2-3 days. For the rest of your social media, just check in weekly. My absolute favorites are my blog and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ZenaShapter). Close behind is Twitter & Google+. I’m also on StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Goodreads and more. Did I mention that I’m part-cyber?
6. Plan ahead. If you want to write a story by December, you need to send that story to beta readers by October. Set goals and meet them each day.
7. Approach all of your writing as if it’s work (even though most of being a writer is unpaid). It will help you stay professional and not slack off.
Follow these tips and you can master time management, too! Thanks for having me, Deb… it’s been fun!!
About Zena Shapter: Hi! I’m a British-Australian fiction writer and published author. I’ve won six national writing competitions, have written novels, am published in various anthologies and magazines, and am represented in Australia by literary agent Alex Adsett. I also run the widely attended Northern Beaches Writers’ Group (based in Sydney), and give regular talks/tutorials on creative writing and social media. Visit me at www.zenashapter.com.
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