As an author, you are constantly juggling tasks. You have books to write, books to promote, and in most cases, you have a day job and a family to tend to. There’s not much room for procrastination or wasting time.
If time management is something you struggle with, here are a few tips to make the most of what little time you have:
Leave the internet. Like most people, I check my email first thing in the morning. This usually leads to external links, email replies, or searching for an answer on Google. This leads to much time wasted. A quick check into Facebook can turn into an hour of searching, commenting, and perusing your friends’ photos. Critical time is eaten up. Allot a certain amount of time for email and online promotion, and only use that amount of time. When it’s time to write, go offline. If you have no will power, you can use programs like Freedom to actually block the internet for a set amount of time.
Schedule Social Media posts. Remembering to tweet or post to Facebook can be a hassle. It’s also very time consuming to maintain interaction all day. And like I said before, once you sign on, time can easily disappear. Instead, use programs like HootSuite or Social Oomph to schedule your posts ahead of time. That way, you can go days without even looking at your social media pages.
Be Realistic. As authors, you’re constantly being asked for favors. Whether it’s blurbing a published author’s book or offering advice on an aspiring author’s critique letter, you’re always being asked for help. And, most of the time, you want to give it. But it’s necessary to be realistic with your time. I meet lots of aspiring authors, many of whom I like and think they show a lot of potential. I would love to read their manuscript and offer advice on which agents to query. But realistically, I can’t. I have almost 50 unpublished manuscripts sitting in a folder, waiting to be read. I’m not sure I will ever get to them. Offer assistance when you can, but be realistic about what you’re able to give.
Never Hurts to Ask. How many times are you asked for a meeting or an interview smack dab in the middle of your writing time? And more times than not, you sigh and agree. When your publisher asks for a conference call or a reporter asks for an interview, don’t be afraid to ask for the time you want. Booking these types or appointments at the very beginning or very end of the day will leave you with a chunk of time to dedicate to your writing.
Authors, feel free to share your own time management tips in the comments section!