Does your writing life work like this?
You get up in the morning with full intention of working through your to-do list and before you’ve even taken a sip of coffee or written much more than a word, the phone rings or the cats need attention or the baby cries or you venture into social media – in other words something happens to take you off track.
It happens to all of us… if we let it.
The way to deal with distraction is to spend the first hour or even two of your best writing time with the phone off, the cats and babies fed and napping and a way to avoid social media including email.
Your best writing time
If you’re not sure about the best time of day for you to write, take a few minutes and design your ideal writing day. That will help you know how to schedule your writing.
If you’re like me and early morning is the best time, schedule it then. If you’re an evening writer, that’s when you should be doing your best writing. Make appointments with yourself for that time and let friends and family know you need support in the form of not interrupting you unless there’s a fire. It often takes a week or so of gentle reminders to get the support you need. So do the reminding.
Make your best writing time more effective by turning off the radio, not looking at email, and eliminating as many distractions as you possibly can. At first it may seem awkward or lonely, but if you do this for a week or two you’ll find it effective and that you’re actually looking forward to that time.
Your most important writing
As you get your schedule established do your most important writing first. Or work on your most important writing project first.
That isn’t always writing your doing for clients or your blog or whatever seems most obvious. The guide for your most important writing is how you feel about it and what you’re trying to accomplish.
For example, one of my most important projects is the 5 Buck Forum. Rarely is the time I spend on that actually writing time. There’s the technology of the site itself, the planning, the marketing and the myriad other details to make it a success. But since it’s important to me it often gets that first precious hour or two.
There have been times when a book I was writing for me was most important. One result is Powerfully Recovered! The book and the website now take second place except on most Mondays.
What’s most important to you is what’s most important to you, not what you think should be most important. Nor is it something that someone else thinks should be significant to you. I consistently find if I do what’s most essential to me first, it gets done. So does work for my clients and other projects I have on my plate.
On the other hand, if I put less important things first that somehow is all that gets done, and what’s dear to my heart to me starts taking a back seat. When I let this go on too long, I start to resent the other work I have. On the other hand, when I do what I really want to do first for an hour or so, I not only make progress on that project I find I’m grateful for the other work.
A challenge: Put your most important writing work first for two weeks. See how well it works for you and how much you actually get done. My bet is you’ll stick with this scheme forever and are more productive than you’ve ever been.
When do you do the writing that’s most important to you?