|Photo credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro (Flickr)|
Despite life and workish things that like to become obstacles and suck up valuable writing time, it’s still entirely possible to juggle life and writing in a manageable and less stressful way. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Make a plan. Without a doubt, one of the best ways to maximize your productivity during the day is to map out what you need to get done and figure out when you can do it. For some, that means dedicating the large nine to five block to non-writing work, then either getting up early or adding an extra hour (or half hour) after work to get some writing in. For others, that means spreading out short writing bursts throughout the day until you’ve reached your goal. Regardless of how you do it, making a plan is a great way to figure out how much time you can dedicate to your writing daily, and actually getting it done.
- Use timers. I’ve written about this before, and this point is related to the first one, but I think it’s worth repeating—timers are a fantastic tool for writers. I’ve found that I actually like to keep one running somewhere visible while I’m writing under a time constraint (like now). It keeps me pushing harder (because few things are quite as motivating to write as much as you can as a visual representation of your available time literally slipping away) and it allows me to make sure I can write without worrying about going overtime and being late to start whatever my next task is. Use timers. They help more than you’d think.
- Allow yourself to write in bursts. For a lengthier explanation of this, you can check out this post, but in short, writing in bursts is just as productive, if not more so, than sitting down for long writing sessions. Many writers don’t often get the opportunity to sit down for an hour or more to write, but we often have bits of time scattered throughout the day—ten minutes while waiting for lunch, another fifteen before a meeting, etc. If you use these little doses of time to write a couple hundred words here and there, you might be surprised how quickly it adds up.
- Be forgiving. We writers have a tendency of being pretty hard on ourselves when we miss a day of writing or don’t meet our daily quota. Sometimes we have to accept that life gets in the way and that it’s ok if we don’t meet our daily writing goals every day. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up for a bad writing day—instead, invest that time in getting more writing done tomorrow.
Those are just a few tips for juggling life and writing, now it’s your turn to add to the list: how do you juggle writing and life? Any tips? Share your thoughts in the comments below!