7. Economize your time. Accomplish tasks with less waste. Don’t take hours to plan and write a simple article when a few moments are all you need. The fewer steps involved to complete a task, the better. Work at improving efficiency by shaving minutes or even seconds off routine duties. Be on the lookout for overlap, excessive handling, unnecessary steps and duplication of work. Soon you’ll be transformed into a lean, mean, well-oiled writing machine.
8. Mix-up your writing tasks to avoid burnout. Instead of planning to spend an 8-hour day on two 4-hour writing sessions, break it up into 30-minute or 60-minute writing periods with rest periods in between. During your writing sessions, focus on getting your words on the page. Combine tasks like researching and outlining with actual writing. Don’t try to cram too much of one task into a single day. Mix it up and you’ll feel a stronger sense of accomplishment and be less drained at the end of the day.
9. Decide to be a more effective manager of your time, starting today. Others will soon notice your ability to get things done. You’ll be appreciated more and you’ll have more time to take advantage of the things you really enjoy. Focus is the key. When it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to it – do so with 100% concentration and effort. Do that and you’ll be surprised at the effect it has on your productivity.
10. Slash your time allowance. If you only had half a day to complete a full day of work, how would you fare? What would you do? What must be done first? What could be delegated to others, or put off until later? When you’ve suddenly got less time in which to perform, you’re literally forced into a higher level of efficiency. Quick planning can make a big difference. Work smart and you can get any assignment done in half the time.
11. Stick to a planned schedule. While it’s inevitable that distractions happen, you cannot allow yourself to get sidetracked. Genuine emergencies aside, when an interruption occurs, acknowledge it, capture the significant details, and then set it aside for later. Go back to taking the action you were taking before the distraction happened. Stay true to your plan as best you can. After you’ve completed your important writing tasks for the day — then and only then should you go back to
the notes you made earlier and deal with the issue of the interruption. In this way, you stay in control of your day, rather than letting others control you.
12. Stop the leaks. Pay particular attention to those seemingly small segments that are nothing but wasted time during what should be productive hours. Five or ten minutes here and there seems innocent enough. But over the years, these down times add up to many hours, days and weeks that could have been better invested in advancing your writing and your business or career. Become a more active observer and stop those time leaks as you spot them.
For Part Three, click here.
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