“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Time is the most significant aspect of a writer's daily schedule.
Considering the fact that the majority of the writers are multitaskers, making most of the time is what writers get paid for.
There are writers who can write faster and deliver 5000 or more words per day and others who get stuck with a mere 2000. There are writers who know very well what they are going to write and there are writers who feel stressed out, have writer's block, and struggle to meet the deadlines. Delivering exemplary content can often get overwhelming and too much to begin with.
To be a fast and competent writer and complete your tasks on time, time management skills are paramount. For you to assess your time, own it, and always be effective with your writing, you need a plan. You need to understand where your time is spent in order to minimise the waste and to be productive.
To achieve that, having discipline is the foremost requirement. Discipline is a systematic way of meeting your goals. Here are 8 disciplined time management habits that can help you become a productive writer:
Keep a Schedule:
Keeping track of your time will help you identify where your time is spent. For that you need to
plan, have a schedule and a routine. You should know what you are supposed to do next and when. Create a schedule in any format, have a planner or a journal or an excel spreadsheet to help you out. Find out when you're most productive and give that to writing. Lock out that time for writing in your schedule and be consistent. Following a schedule not only makes you productive but also keeps you calm.
Try the Pomodoro Technique:
The technique goes like: 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break. This one segment should be repeated 3 times so that you end up working for 75 minutes ( 1 hour 15 minutes ) with 15 minutes of break in the process.
Sometimes, working uninterrupted can block your creativity. It results in fatigue because our brain is not wired to function like that on a continuous basis. Hence, taking breaks help you relax, get some mind space and regain energy. And to take breaks and work, Pomodoro Technique is just the best technique for happy and productive working.
Have a Dedicated Workspace:
Find the perfect surrounding and atmosphere in your house or indoors/ outdoors. That helps you concentrate and be creative which can help you get into the right headspace. Whenever it is your time to write or you feel like writing, go to your workspace. It'll set the right mood and block out people, and other distractions.
Out of sight is out of mind. Keep all the things away that distract you from writing. Else you might end up procrastinating. Keep those things out of your sight. Now when it comes to online or digital distractions, you can turn off your notifications and switch off your phone. Add extensions like ‘StayFocused’ or ‘Todoist’ to limit your time on certain websites. Turning off your internet connection after your research or switching your phone to aeroplane mode can also help. Do whatever you need to prevent yourself from getting distracted because it can break the flow of your thinking.
Create concise Outlines:
Create cards, where you'll write the headings of all the things that you want to include in your writing with brief descriptions. Arranging those cards in the sequence you wish, will help you give an idea what you'll be writing all about. This avoids your confusion and too much junk of the stuff that you have in mind, basically, you get clarity.
Create detailed outlines of your objectives after research. Leave the elaboration part, just jot down your ideas. You'll not forget anything and also be prepared.
Multi-tasking is not sustainable in the long run. It causes stress and lowers your efficiency. Delegate insignificant or minor tasks. You can outsource research or editing and proofreading. It gives you more time to think and write, than doing everything all by yourself, in order to just focus on writing.
Using technology to your advantage will be so helpful in increasing your productivity. Use apps, extensions and digital writing tools to avoid mistakes and organise your writing in the first place. Apps/ Sites and Tools you should know about:
Apps/ Sites: Coffitivity, Brain.fm, Toggl
Tools: Alarms and Timers, Focus Mode and Digital Planners in your phone.
Apps/ Sites: Scrivener, Google Calendar, MS Excel
Apps/ Sites: Hemingway Editor, Grammarly and Wordrake
Last but not the least, "Festina Lente". The Italian phrase means: Make Haste Slowly.
Life can be fast and full of urgencies, but the secret to success is to live it without getting intimidated or limited by the stress. Stay busy but learn to stay calm.
The more successful and productive writers are the ones who know how to manage their time. Trying out the above time management tips can speed up your writing and ease you through the deadlines without compromising on quality. Try, experiment and implement these to find the best writing routine and habits that work for you. Never stop experimenting and trying out new things. After all, it is practice that makes one perfect!