How To Find The Time To Write
Are you struggling to find the time to write? If time is your enemy then would you like to know how to find the time to write?
I recommend that you analyse what you actually do every 30 minutes over a 24-hour period. This is known as a time audit and is a time management strategy.
A time audit tracks what you do throughout the day or even for a week. Its purpose is to ensure that you are not fooling yourself into believing that seductive dream world where you think you are doing your best is actually real.
From time to time, create a 24-hour chart and break this down into 30-minute time slots. Document what you are doing every 30 minutes.
If you don’t want to do it the old fashioned way by drawing up a chart listing 30-minute time slots do it on an app.
Fill in the 30-minute time slots with your activity. Do not leave anything out.
- How long were your meals?
- How long was it between sitting at your desk and then actually starting to work?
- How long was your coffee break?
- How many coffee breaks did you have?
- How many toileting breaks?
- Did you time your phone calls or just make an estimate?
Track EVERYTHING you do over a 24 hour period.
Do this for a week.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
People say to me that they are so busy – busy, busy, busy – and that they work very hard. But there can be a very big discrepancy between what they think they do and what they actually do.
It is essential to identify the things in your daily life that are eroding your time.
What’s draining your time?
Who or what’s stealing your time?
Is it your family pouring through the open door into your workspace?
How many calamities did you have to deal with?
Were you distracted by a news event on television?
Or a sporting event?
Do visitors drop in unannounced?
Are you always surfing the net or getting distracted by social media?
Learn to say “No”.
If social commitments become a pressure and shrink your time, learn to say something like “Let me take a look at my diary and I’ll get back to you”.
I’ve come across a number of authors who want to produce a book but they let their need for perfectionism get in the way of their productivity. By trying to be perfect they set very high standards which they can never attain.
Facebook would have to hold the current time-honoured position for being the most effective distraction to steal your time.
- Others making demands on your time
- Other people demand attention which can encroach upon your time.
- There are the visitors who decide to drop in and absorb your time.
- There are the household members, your family, who claim your attention.
The possibilities are endless unless you do something about it.
It doesn’t stop there.
In addition, there are many other time-wasters:
- organising files on your computer,
- watching movies,
- televised sporting events…
By doing a time audit it will become very clear to you where your time is going. If time is being wasted what can you do to rectify the problem? You have to set the boundaries for when and how you will allow the distractions to impinge on the one precious commodity you can never replace, and that is your time.
If you want transformational results, focus on how you are spending the time you have available. If you master your time well, you will be able to create a life balance.
It won’t be always about sacrificing the activities you like to do. Your book will get written when you achieve time mastery.
When you manage your time successfully and practise it, you will make time to pursue your creativity. You will become more productive and you will still include your life’s obligations and have time for some rest and recreation.
If you fail to do this you will likely feel “busy” all the time. Many activities may not align with your ambitions so it’s possible to waste much of your valuable time on petty matters that do not move you forward on the path you want to travel.
Your life goals are important to you.
Don’t let anyone or anything steal them from you.
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Author and coach