Lately, I feel like I’m in university; constantly learning, constantly writing, constantly working to provide helpful tips to others who are in the beginning or middle phases of their own freelance business. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do. In fact, I have the best job in the world (I’m a content writer/marketer) for WiseStamp and for Ink of Imagination.
But, because I’m so busy writing for WiseStamp and so busy writing for Ink of Imagination – my own freelance writing company, I haven’t been writing my book – the reason I began writing in the first place.
Yes, I know. How dare I complain? I’m being paid to write.
And you’re right. I have no right to complain. And I’m not.
The reason I’m sharing my feelings is because I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what you do – you can love your job, you can hate your job; but if you’re not getting to your creative writing projects (I’ve just assumed you’re a writer – but in truth you can switch creative writing for any important personal project you’d like to accomplish), there’s something wrong in the way you’re managing your time and you need to figure it out.
Yes. There’s something wrong in the way I’m managing my time and I need to figure it out. There. I’ve said it.
I’m already using Toggl, Trello, Boomerang, and Any.do. Each of these helpful tools are helping me manage my time better and maybe they’re the reason I’ve finally gotten around to writing a blog post (I haven’t been writing enough of these either). But no tool or app is going to solve it for you, or for me.
Because getting to your creative writing tasks is about slogging away. Even when it’s late. Even when you’re tired. It’s also about grouping; doing all the tasks that require the same type of skill or are all in the same vicinity of each other and doing them so that you waste a minimum amount of time doing tedious but necessary tasks.
Time is something we cannot create more of. There are 24 hours in a day and each of us are here for a limited time of which I’m sure we’d like to make the most of.
There are a few tips that I think can guide us in our quest for personal fulfillment. For me, that personal fulfillment is completing a kick-ass novel that will sell millions. (It’s not the sale of the millions that is important to me. It’s writing an incredible book for which such a result will hopefully be inevitable. I might be living in my own fantasy world – time and my writing will tell).
So here’s my list of the things that I can do to manage my time better. I’m going to try them out this week and let you know how it went. Do the same, leave your comments and we might be able to figure it out together.
- It’s not enough to have a list of to do items – give yourself a time limit for each and every task. This way, if you get derailed, you’ll be able to put your finger on it.
- Do the hardest things, the ones that require the most brain power and/or the involvement of other people as early as possible in your day. The stuff on your list that is hardest to do either requires more willpower, more brain power or both. The more of the hard stuff you do in the morning, the more you’ll accomplish. Leave the no-brainers for the night, when you’re left with no willpower or the strength to think.
- When you finally sit down and write your novel, or whatever project you’re working on, set a goal. Leave yourself a note for the next day – where you left off and how you expect to start. You might even want to add some words of encouragement or a list of intriguing words that will get you thinking at the beginning of tomorrow. This way you’ll be giving yourself a task that continues what you’ve already started, hopefully making it easier to face your writing the next day.
Did these tips help you? Which one in particular?