Last Updated on: October 6th, 2018
There are 6 things you can do to optimize your writing time so you can achieve your writing goals:
1: Determine your “best” time.
2: Determine your realistic writing time.
3: Determine the days you will write.
4: Make writing a priority.
5: Write during your spare pockets of time.
6: Optimize your writing time by getting help and outsourcing tasks/chores.
Now, let’s look at each of these in-depth.
NOTE: Two different planners are available to you in this post (for FREE)!
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1: Determine your “best” time
The first thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your best writing time. You can determine the best time to write if you know your body’s rhythms.
Do you write best in the morning, afternoon, or night?
When do you have the most energy? Write during that time!
A lot of people get tired in the late afternoon, but after they get their second wind, they are more energetic. When do you get your second wind? Write right after that!
Do you have more time on weekends? Write on weekends!
Do you exercise and eat healthily? Once you consider your diet and exercise habits, you can improve your energy levels. Some people feel more energetic when they drink caffeine (found in coffee, tea, and most sodas), while others find they are more energetic when they consume more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and avoid sugar. Most people also function better when they exercise every day.
If you have a hard time finding your peak writing time, do some self-experiments. Write in the morning. Write in the afternoon. Then write at night. See what times you enjoy best, and see when you are most productive. Write during those times!
2: Determine your realistic writing time
The second thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your realistic writing time. By this, I mean how long you can actually write for.
I don’t know about you, but I get tired of writing after a while. I certainly can’t sit and write for hours on end! I can write for only an hour or so before I get bored or tired of the task.
(Even when I’m editing, I only edit for two hours at a time, at most!)
By determining your realistic writing time, you will be able to schedule the times you write. By doing this, you will become more realistic with your goals, too. And when you are writing, you will simply write, because you know that, after an hour passes, you can move on to doing something else!
I like this concept because I also apply it to exercising. I hate the moments leading up to it and find it hard to motivate myself to exercise. But once I am actually doing that task, I know it’s not going to last forever. I know that it will soon come to an end! I can then force myself to finish my 30 minutes easily. Also, I always feel great afterward, so that is another added benefit!
3: Determine the days you will write
We all have busy schedules and often make the excuse that we can’t find the time to write.
So how can you find time to do your best writing, even when you’re busy?
This is the third thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals.
You can use this FREE PLANNER to help you. This planner is specifically tailored toward bloggers.
The other planner (the downloadable one) is for every writer to use.
Alternatively, you can use this planner. It’s also free and requires you to sign up to my email list but it’s a much better planner!!!
Look at your weekly routine. It is probably not feasible for you to plan to write every day. But if you know that you can write on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7 and 9 p.m., then you should plan to write on those days.
Maybe Sunday is a good day for you to write. If you work a full-time job from Monday to Friday and run errands on Saturday, then that leaves Sunday as the best day for you to write.
You don’t need to write every day. Even writing just one day a week (and being faithful to that schedule) will bring you closer and closer to reaching your writing goal!
Think about it.
In one year, there are 52 weeks. That means there are 52 Sundays for you two write. If you spend one hour each Sunday writing, and write (on average) 1000-2000 words each Sunday, you will have written a full-length novel within a year!
Any writing goal is easy to achieve if you look at the big picture and then break your goal down into small steps that are easily achievable!
4: Make writing a priority
The fourth thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to make writing a priority.
You will need to make sacrifices in order to reach your goals. That is just a fact of life, if you want to be successful!
By making writing a priority, you will have to sacrifice some of the time you spend elsewhere. This might mean giving up an hour of TV time each night. It might mean waking up an hour earlier. Or it might mean hiring someone to come in once a week to clean the house, thus allowing that time to focus on your writing goals.
Whatever you do, make sure you find a good work-life balance!
5: Write during your spare pockets of time
The fifth thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to write during your spare pockets of time.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Make the most of the time you have available to you!
Maybe you have 20 minutes to spare in the morning while the kids are getting dressed. Maybe you can write during the time it takes to cook a casserole in the oven. Maybe you can use that 30 minutes in the evening while your child is bathing to get some writing done.
The key is to take advantage of every opportunity you have to write!
Another example is to write while waiting for an appointment (like when you’re at the doctor’s office). Just simply pull out your phone and write in a Google Doc. I have this app on my phone (it’s one of the many apps I have to make my life easier), and I have set so that writing offline is enabled. That way, I don’t even need Internet access to write!
I have taken this one step further by enabling the speech-to-text function on my phone. I don’t need to fiddle with tiny keyboard buttons on my phone to write. I can simply say what it is that I want to write, and the speech-to-text function will record what I’m saying!
It also doesn’t matter if other people are around because this feature is set to record the sound of my voice, not everyone else’s. It is a very neat way to write, and I love it. I’ve been using this feature for over a year now, and I even use it to record emails and Facebook comments (when I am checking my Facebook notifications from my phone).
I highly recommend writing using the speech-to-text function. I actually learned about this feature from my blind author friend, Maxwell Ivey Jr.
6: Optimize your writing time by getting help
The sixth and final thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to get help.
Bloggers automate their scheduling. Businesses hire employees to work for them. You can apply similar principles to your own life by outsourcing some of your weekly tasks.
For example, can you hire someone to clean your house, do your laundry, or cook for you once a week? Can you get your groceries delivered so you can save time on grocery shopping?
What can you do to free up more time for you to write?
Can you automate your bill-paying practices with online banking?
If you think about every task you have to do (especially ones you don’t enjoy doing), perhaps you can brainstorm some ways for you to reduce your workload so you have more writing time.
You don’t always have to look at solutions that cost money, either. Maybe you have a family member or a friend (or both) who is willing to help you out once a week, for free. If you take the time to explain to them how important it is for you to find some uninterrupted writing time, they will be more likely to help you.
Maybe the solution is as simple as asking for a little help. As my good friend Max Ivey says, “If you don’t ask, they can’t say YES!”
(Note: This saying is so popular that Max even had T-shirts made that say this! You can order yours by following the links from his page that advertises them.)
Do you know your peak energy time? How long is your realistic writing time?
How can you optimize your time more effectively? Share your experiences in the comments!
Also, tell us what other things have helped you become a more productive writer! Let’s learn from each other!