Monday, November 18, 2013

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Manic Monday: 5 Tips for Author Time Management

Photo from Stock Xchng
One of the things that really drives me nuts as an author is having so much to do, writing, blogging, editing, and promoting that I get overwhelmed and just want to throw up my hands. I actually love doing all of the above, but figuring out when to do each of these things can be difficult. Even when I work hard to find the time, I often have problems staying on top of all my author duties. So, what does an author do when they have too much author stuff to do and not enough time?

Most of the time we actually have the time, it's just that we don't utilize the time we have in an effective manner. Here are five tips for utilizing your time so you can stay on top of your author duties.

1. Make a list of all your author tasks, both writing and non-writing such as promotion although that can also involve writing such as my article here.

2. Make a list of everything you do each day. This will help you to figure out where you have true free time. Spend an hour each day surfing the internet? Maybe you could spend a half hour and write 1000 words instead. You get the idea.

3. Figure out how much time an author task will take. For longer tasks break these into steps so you can fit steps into smaller free time slots, and break up your tasks so they still get completed but you're not trying to do too much in a smaller time slot.

4. Once you've made your list of what you do each day and you've figured out where you can carve free time out, then look at your list of author tasks again. Test it out, choose a few tasks for the week and then plug them into your free time slots on a calendar. In other words make a schedule. How you do this is up to you, but there are tons of free online scheduling and calendar options.

5. Make sure that you don't schedule too much author task to fit the free time slot you've allotted to it. Don't be afraid to break down tasks into steps that way you can schedule two steps or three steps into a smaller allotted time slot for example and then the final steps in another free time slot.

6. Finally, don't throw out your fun to do tasks. You should always schedule fun activities into your schedule as well. If all you're doing is working then this makes authors very dull indeed. Make time to play too!

I hope these time management tips help you as much as they've helped me. I find I write more and I do more promotion when I go about it this way, rather than hit or miss.