Wednesday, February 3, 2010

10 Tips to Help You Create More Time to Write

We all lead busy lives. And no matter how much writing we do, we all want to do more. Here are a the ten best tips that have helped me make more time for writing.

1) Cut back dramatically on television.
This tip goes first because it's most people's greatest time waster. Do you really get any real value out of the shows you watch? Is that value worth the loss of several hours each week that you could spend writing?

2) Be highly selective with time spent on online.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be tremendous time wasters. Again, ask yourself if you are getting real value for your time, or if that time could be spent more productively.

3) Be more selective with what you read.
While it's important to read widely and outside your comfort zone, you might want to draw the line at low-value reading material like People or US Magazine.

4) Get up earlier, and write first thing in the morning.
No matter how badly the day goes after that, at least you can say you did some writing.

5) Secure enough alone time from your spouse and family for your writing.
If your family doesn't understand why you write, why you must write, then find another family who will.

6) Eliminate distractions from chat and email.
Email is one of my primary sources of interruption and distraction, so I usually close up my email sites when I sit down to write.

7) Leave work early.
If your career is important to you, or if you work a day job at a firm that has stringent facetime requirements, you'll have to be creative with this tip. Schedule a "meeting" somewhere, or figure out a way to leave discreetly. Or, once or twice a week, leave early and do it overtly, with a big wave to your boss on your way out the door.

8) Write during your commute.
So you think you can't use this tip because you drive to work? Buy a recording device and capture your ideas and thoughts that way.

9) Write at work.
Anyone with a corporate job will concede that there is a preposterous amount of time wasted in most office settings. Take back some of that time for yourself. Write during boring presentations, during wasteful meetings, during downtime or during your lunch break. Obviously, this tip must be done with the utmost discretion.

10) Keep a notebook and a pen with you at all times.
This will give you the two tools necessary to capture any unexpected downtime that may bless your days, as well as any great ideas that cross your mind.