I'm sat here on the phone with a friend, editing a video, and flipping back and forth between edits and I'm writing a piece on time management. That just made me chuckle. The truth is that I am pretty organised and I am pretty good at time management. I've talked before about how I juggle several different things through the month, as do many indie authors. However, I thought I would do a piece of how I personally make sure I'm managing my time effectively to enable me to get as much done as I can. If you're someone who struggles with organisation, then this might be the tips that help you.
#1. - LISTS ARE YOUR FRIEND
For a long time I was never really a to-do list person. I saw little point in them. Back when I was working, I didn't exactly have to manage my time. I had work hours and free hours and what I did in that time was up to me. Now that I'm an author, I find that a lot of the free time gets mistaken for work time. When you work from home, it's easy enough to find yourself distracted and with that, end up with less work done. Part of time management (and being an adult in general) is making sure you do the things you gotta do. Even if social media is calling out to you to come play. That's where lists come in. If you've got a honking long list of things to do, you're gonna wanna be actually doing the things instead of making tweets.
#2. - YOU NEED TO BE DISCIPLINED
Following on from my last point, it's no good have lists if you're gonna ignore them. So you have to hike on your grown up pants and actually do the stuff on your list. While I do a mix of things at once, as evidenced by this piece, I also know that I'm not done for the day until I've done all of my list. I split things up into the morning stuff and the afternoon stuff. I use my own form of motivation to make sure I stay on task. Whether that's being allowed to do something fun when I'm done, or making a list of mini goals that I then get to cross off. Whatever works for you.
#3.- MAKE TIME FOR YOU
No one, absolutely no one, can work all the time. You'll get burnt out and that's just not fun. Whether you slot a day off here and there, or a chunk of a day that you devote to reading, or watching a TV show or something when you're just not working. It's a must for anyone trying to manage their time because you need that time off. You need that break and you need that down time and there's nothing wrong with it. Personally, I have my evenings in bed when I read and chat to a friend. I also have days when I do limited work so that I can just process the month, the week, the day and all of that. It's a must for mental health and also physical. I know that if I work myself too hard, I get sick from being so rundown. Self-care is important.
And finally, #4. - DON'T OVERLOAD YOURSELF
One thing a lot of people forget is that there are limits to what can be done in a day, or a week, or a month and so on. They think that because one person can manage x then they have to do the same or more to be valid. That's just not true. While I know that I am a fast writer and I organise myself well, that doesn't mean that I took years to get to this point. And I did. It may seem like you should be competing on some level to make yourself a "real" writer, but it's simply not the case. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. And that's completely okay. You don't have to do x amount of words, or pages, or chapters or whatever, to be valid as a writer. Do you write? Then congratulations! You're a real writer.
A lot of the time, as an indie author, you'll find yourself juggling a lot of different things and it can be hard sometimes to see the forest through the trees. Making sure you manage your time effectively can be a great way to stop yourself getting overloaded. You need to take time for yourself, while also managing your workload effectively. How do you reward yourself for staying on plan? Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments below!
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