1. Determine When You are Most Productive
I used to be a late night writer but, with the birth of my youngest child, I have had to switch to a morning and afternoon writer (although I will sometimes write an article or work on book notes late at night in bed if I can’t sleep).
When do you feel most creative and productive? Don’t fight your natural cycle. Work with it and schedule your writing time when you are most likely to feel like writing.
2. Create a Writing Schedule
Create a writing schedule and give yourself hours just like a regular job. Make the schedule realistic so that you are more likely to stick to it. Be your own boss and take charge.
3. Overestimate the Time to Complete a Task
Never cut yourself short on time. If you think a task will only take you 30 minutes, schedule it in for an hour. If you complete the task in under the allotted time, you can move on to the next task or give yourself a break for a few minutes. If it takes you the full amount of allotted time, great planning! That is why you gave yourself more than enough time to do it in the first place.
4. Schedule Free Time
Just as you are creating a work schedule similar to that of a regular job, you will also be scheduling in breaks. Call them potty breaks, snack breaks, or a few minutes to start the laundry, it doesn’t matter. Schedule in break time and take advantage of it. Think of it as a reward to step away from the work desk.
5. Be Reasonable With Yourself
Don’t over schedule. Never cram too much into your schedule. You will feel overwhelmed and, when you are unable to complete all your tasks, you may feel depressed, ready to give up, or angry with yourself. Avoid the bad feelings altogether by creating a reasonable schedule for yourself. If you finish early, you can reward yourself by stepping away from your work for the day or you can get extra work done and feel even better about yourself.
6. Spend 10 Minutes on Preparation
Before you begin your work day, spend 10 to 15 minutes preparing yourself mentally and preparing your work area. Grab the books you might need for research. Make sure all your papers are in order. Set some healthy snacks on your desk and prepare a cup of hot tea or coffee for yourself. Take a moment to read over what you plan on doing today and mentally prepare yourself to finish each task.
7. Avoid Getting Sidetracked
Turn off all email and social media notifications. Check these things only during your scheduled breaks. Post your writing work schedule up for other members of the household to see. Ask that they respect your time and your work.