How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

Last Updated on: October 6th, 2018

How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

 

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)!

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?

Make a schedule!

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!”

a Screenshot of Max's saying

 

Image of Max's saying

(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.)

Your Turn!

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!

 

 

28 thoughts on “How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

  1. ChrisM says

    You need downtime in writing too. Your best and most creative ideas occur then. I understand you have to stay focused and finish ahead of time too.

    Chris

    • says

      Chris, I agree. Writers need time to come up with new thoughts and also stay away and take a break from writing. Breaks certainly help with improving productivity!

  2. Hi Lorraine,
    Your article is exceptional and timely too. We all at one point struggled to get our writing juices flowing, and many bloggers are still struggling in this regard. I love to write in the early hours of the morning and late at night without distractions. At these times, I get my work done with ease. So it makes sense to find the best time or times when it’s convenient for you to write, as well as get help when you need it. Many shy away from getting help, but I enjoy it when I get stuck and ask other bloggers for help. You could ask for help to complete a difficult writing project, or asking other to fill in the gab in the form of guest posting to your site, etc. All these steps will make you productive.

    Thanks for sharing, Lorraine.

    • says

      Moss, I knew you would love this article!

      I also like writing during times where I do not encounter a lot of distractions.

      It seems we are in agreement regarding the issue of asking for help, too. 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! I received your email about the guest post and will respond to it soon!

  3. Hey Lorraine,

    You’ve shared some great tips here hun! I’ve never paid attention to my peak time but as I was reading your blog post I started to think about it and I think my peak times are in the evening. I do need to make time for writing but I can’t sit and write all day long either so your advice about doing it for an hour or 2 would probably work for me and it would keep me engaged in the topic.

    I definitely squeeze in some writing time wherever I can, like when I took my car to be serviced, I wrote a draft in the waiting area. 🙂

    And thank you for the planners! I’m going to get mine. 🙂

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    Cori
    Cori Ramos recently posted…How To Survive Your First Year As A Blogger [eBook]

    • says

      Cori, I’m having a great day NOW that you told me about your discoveries! 🙂 Way to go, girlfriend!

      Writing is a tedious task for many people. Even for people who love writing! Like anything else, it is best to do it for only an amount of time that is enjoyable… such as an hour or two. Then it seems just like work. And who wants that? Right!

      I hope you like the planners! I’d appreciate feedback on them, Cori, so be sure and let me know if they help you!

      Thanks, and have a great upcoming weekend!

  4. Yep Lorraine; ya gotta make writing a total priority. I mean an all in, no matter what, type activity. I write at 2 AM, 2 PM and all times in between. I love doing it so I write for hours daily. Rocking writing tips here.

  5. says

    Hey Lorriane,

    Thanks for all the useful tips and I totally agree with making a schedule for writing because that reminds us that it’s in our priority list.

    Finding your best time for writing is indeed one of the powerful tips you could ever utilize. MY best time for writing is in the evening I guess, because I don’t know why, but I get really great vibes during that time and hence I able to write amazing pieces during that time!

    Asking for help is also another powerful tip!

    I agree with every tips you shared into this post, thanks for this.

    Just tweeted it out! 🙂

    Cheers!
    Shakir

    • says

      Shakir, it’s great that you have already discovered your best time to write! Wonderful! You’re one step above most!

      I appreciate the Tweet. Thanks so much for sharing my article. 🙂

      Asking for help is something a lot of people don’t do, but should. When it comes to sharing my stuff, I’m no longer shy about it. But when it comes to other, personal things, I sometimes find it hard to admit I need help. Then I remind myself that asking for help is actually courageous.
      Thank you for bringing up this point.

      Keep writing amazing blog posts. I’ve read many of your pieces and they are, indeed, GREAT!

      Have a great upcoming week, too, Shakir.

      Take care,
      Lorraine

      • Yeah, in our community there’s a lot people who feel shy while asking for help. And I don’t know why is that. Everyone started as a newbie, and asking someone for help and/or asking someone a question doesn’t hurt. And you are really good at it to be really honest !

        Have a great week. 🙂

        • says

          Thank you, Shakir!

          I remember when I was a newbie. I asked for help all the time! I’m sure I drove people crazy! LOL

          But not everyone helped me. I had to figure a lot out on my own.

          I still ask for help now, when I need it. I mostly need it for tech things. LOL

          Have a great week, too, Shakir. 🙂

  6. Hi Lorraine,

    Great post. I’m still trying to find my “sweet spot” as they say to work on the projects I want to do. I have 5 and really don’t want to give any of them up but I may have to. Maybe I’ll schedule one or two for each day. A little bit of work is better than no work done at all.

    Thanks so much for the great deal of work and detail you obviously put into this post.

    • says

      Monna, it all comes down to priorities. What is most important to you?
      Once you have figured that out, you will start to see better results. You will be more motivated to work on those important things.

      Try making a weekly plan. I find that a weekly plan allows me more flexibility and leeway than a daily plan, especially when something comes up and I cannot stick to things. Also, try assigning day to specific tasks. For example, every Monday night, my parents take out their trash because garbage is collected Tuesday mornings. This reminds me to also take out my trash once a week.

      Because of that, I have assigned that time to clean my bathroom. Rather than waiting for it to look really dirty, I simply wipe down the toilet and sink with a disinfectant spray. Doing this once a week allows me to keep my bathroom looking great!

      I have started to apply certain work “chores” to certain days, too. I tend to write on Friday nights regardless of what I do the rest of the week. I also like taking Wednesdays off (which starts late Tuesday night and carries through to Thursday morning!). I watch all of the good TV shows during that time!

      Stay in touch with me on Facebook and let me know what kind of schedule you come up with. I’ll help keep you accountable, if you want!

  7. Jo Ann says

    Spot on! You nailed it. This is what you have to do to find time to write and finish your writing project. I’m forwarding this to someone, who is trying to write her book. Great job!

  8. says

    Hey Lorraine,
    To be quite frank, we don’t have many of such articles online. I really haven’t come across them. This is something super exciting and thanks for sharing the planner for free.

    I do most of my writings in the early hours of the day and often, it depends on the topic I’m treating. For blogging and money making tips, I could do over 1500 words within few hours. Some topics are really tough though. You have to flip pages looking for materials to come up with the meat.

    My realistic time often depends on the topic I’m writing on and my best approach is going from see keyword.

    I hope you are having a great weekend

    It’s presidential election time here in Cameroon. Tension everywhere. Pray for us
    Enstine recently posted…How bad results can help you make money – [Free Mini Course]

    • says

      Enstine, thanks for the compliment!

      I’m glad you found your sweet spot in the mornings. I’m a nighthawk, so night is best for me!

      It’s election time here in my city too (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada), so I understand. Stay strong, buddy! Things will be fine!

      It is also Thanksgiving here in Canada, today. I’m going to spend it with my parents, thinking of all the things I am grateful for. One is having friends like you!!! <3

  9. Hi Lorraine,

    Optimization is the key to success. Optimizing writing time will definitely help to boost productivity and improve writing skill. I like the idea of “getting help” and “writing at the best time”.

    Glad you shared these points.

    • says

      Gaurav, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing this on Facebook. You’re someone I admire for all you have accomplished, and I know you totally GET this stuff already. You wouldn’t have written countless articles and blog posts if you didn’t! 😉

      I don’t always ask for help, but I asked you for help this time! I wanted you to share this because you have many fans and followers who are different from mine!

      Again, thanks so much for that! 🙂
      Have a great day!

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