Time Budgeting: Avoiding Timewasters and Staying Productive
Maybe you’ve got a ton of work, but just can’t seem to settle down to it. You could be ready to sit down and write when your teen comes in for the umpteenth time asking if you can do something for them right then. As a blog writer, you’re just not sure if you have any new ideas for the next post you have to get out in, say, an hour or two. Let’s talk about time wasters, budgeting time, tools to keep you working effectively and avoiding distractions:
Time Wasters and Avoiding Distractions
Whether it’s checking your author’s page on Facebook or email for new messages, putting other chores or tasks first, or it’s too late and you’ll get up early to finish, it doesn’t matter! People have a million reasons why they can’t start writing at that very moment, but it boils down to fear of rejection. By other things to do than writing, you’re pre-rejecting yourself before you’ve tried! Compromise by only allowing one time waster for a short, fixed period of time before you start your next project. Relocate to a coffee shop if you have to!
Budgeting Your Time
Budgeting time can be as simple as setting “office hours” and sticking to them. Let your family know you’re working and can’t deal with anything not absolutely essential. If you have children, they may need reminders of your office hours as well as clarification as to what constitutes an emergency. In my house, the question asked is, “Does it involve fire, severe weather, severe bleeding, or broken bones?” You’d be surprised how many emergencies don’t seem to fit that criteria. Once you’ve created your office hours, stick to them!
If you have a situation that keeps you from setting a regular schedule, budget your time as a weekly or monthly minimum. If you budget 10 hours a week, it doesn’t matter whether it happens in two hour increments Monday through Friday, in a single block, or in bits and spurts. You just need to work it in whenever you are able to.
Tools to Keep You in the Flow
Tools can help get and keep you writing. Whether you set a timer for a minimum amount of time that you’re going to write or determine that you have to write a minimum number of words, you’ll often find that, by the time you’ve reached that goal, it’s easy to keep going! Writeroom, DarkRoom and Writer.app are all great programs that help block out the rest of your screen, making it easier to focus. Shut off your internet connection and close all other programs. Turn notifications off so that you can focus.
These suggestions and tools will help keep you writing, but only if you put them into practice! It takes weeks for new habits to become second nature, so don’t give up early in the process. Though it’s hard at first, you’ll find yourself more productive in less time.
Cathleen V is a multi-talented writer with experience in various fields. She focuses on content, article and blog writing for small business management, content optimization and marketing, arts businesses, crafts, agriculture, home improvement, food, nutrition and natural health. She is a top 1% content writer out of over 22,000.