Time Management Strategy for Success-Driven Expert Authors

Stop Wasting Your Time!

Does article writing sometimes make you feel like poor Gertrude? You set a goal. You vowed to write no matter how long it took. Time passed while a multitude of emotions swept over you; the words just wouldn’t come!

Avoid meeting the same demise as Gertrude. Be more productive and get more out of your article writing efforts by considering how much quality effort you’re putting into your article writing.

Measuring how much time you’re putting into your articles on a daily and weekly basis will allow you to set reasonable article writing goals to become more efficient. Find what works for you so it fits around your lifestyle and your other responsibilities. In turn, your efficiency will help you become a better Expert Author and help amplify your platform.

Here’s how:

First, identify your goals. Every task you perform should be related to a goal, whether it’s professional or personal. For instance, writing articles might be related to a goal to become an authority in your niche. Write your goals down.

Next, release the time hounds. Faithfully track your activities and the time spent on those activities for at least one week. Use this Article Writing Plan Time Sheet (downloadable PDF) by writing down keywords for tasks, e.g. Draft, Write, Proofread, Email, Facebook, etc., and indicate the time you spent on each task (e.g. 20 minutes). Be as accurate as you can by noting the time spent. Also, if you’re performing another task and you “quickly” squeeze in another task, like checking your email, jot a note down on your time sheet.

Finally, stay the course. It will seem like you’re spending a lot of time just tracking your time. You may become frustrated as you start seeing how much time you spend on particular tasks, similar to counting calories and discovering just how many calories are in your favorite treat. Stay the course.

After at least 7 days of tracking, review the contents of your time sheet.

  • Identify Time Sinks: A time sink is an activity that takes up huge chunks of your time. Determine which of these time sinks were reactive (putting out fires) and those that were proactive (planned). Once you’ve determined your reactive time sinks, consider how you can adjust your schedule to proactively prevent reactive tasks.
     
  • Be Distraction Honest: Outside distractions and even self-induced distractions can break your productive focus. Identifying these will help you hone in on a pattern you can plan around (e.g. time sinks, family, etc.) to come up with distraction-defense strategies.
     
  • Inattentive Tasking: Multi-tasking can seem like the most productive period of your day, but it’s a little like driving while texting, talking, monitoring your GPS, and finding your favorite song – something is going to go wrong because nothing has your full attention. If you find you have performed a ton of other little tasks while performing a larger task, try scheduling these little tasks and be disciplined to limiting your attention during those times to avoid inattentive tasking on more important tasks.
     
  • Assess Your Goals: How many tasks on your time sheet were goal-oriented tasks? How many were not? If you find your time fleeting before you and you aren’t closer to achieving your goals, it’s time to reassess the situation and strategically plan.

Find the times of your day you are the most productive for particular tasks and play around with your schedule. What works for one Expert Author, may not work for you and your lifestyle. Experiment. Find your prime time for each task by measuring your level of productivity and how much closer you are to achieving your goals. Then, when you’re ready, try planning your article writing with this Editorial Calendar system.

Gain confidence in your article writing efforts with this effective system. What are your time sinks? Do you have a great time management strategy? Share your suggestions and questions in the comments section below!

16 Comments »


1

You have written this article very distinctly focusing the main 4 points. Great article!

Comment provided July 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

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2
AABID NIAZI writes:

It has become a second nature for me to await the excellent tips Penny has to offer us all on writing.
I have found this time management piece as excellent as the previous articles by her.
I must confess that I have not been able to contribute much to ‘EzineArticles’, but the amount of knowledge this ‘wonderful band of writers’ has given me is unbelievable.
Thanks— I have downloaded the time sheet and intend to make full use of it.

Comment provided July 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

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3

We have all been there. Distractions can be a deadly for those working on the Internet. It is so easy to put off work until tomorrow while focusing on more energy-sink activities like hanging on Facebook, reading blog, chatting and so on. The list runs a few miles.

But with a few changes to your workflow and some dedication it’s very simple to get yourself back on the right track.

Comment provided July 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

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4
Ulki Goswami writes:

Very good article for new writers. Even professional writers find it difficult to stick to schedules.
By the way, did you mean Gertrude Stein? Would like to know the story behind Gertrude :)

Comment provided July 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

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5
Randall Magwood writes:

Excellent time management strategies. I sometimes find myself day dreaming for minutes during in the middle of creating my articles lol.

I spend about 3 hours a day writing my articles. Will definitely keep these tips in mind when writing my future articles.

Comment provided July 27, 2012 at 3:52 PM

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6
Joseph Dabon writes:

Ahhh! Time. How precious and how few.

Yes, time is the perpetual enemy of man. It waits for no one. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.

i am sometimes amazed at how slow the second hand of a clock moves, but no one can outrun it.

The guy who can master times, masters everything he/she dos.

Comment provided July 27, 2012 at 8:55 PM

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7
John Russo writes:

time and distractions are a way of life for me. My solution is to way plan ahead, find a subject you want to work on, make mental notes then get to work and research the subject. Next steps are to write an outline then do keyword research, rewrite the article using keywords for seo in titles and url’s.

Many tips from EzineArticles has helped me get organized and write better articles. Just follow formats.

Comment provided July 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM

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8
John writes:

I have always believed that time management is the thing that I missed most. A lot of my time gets wasted in doing nothing big or achieving big. Hope these time management tips proved to be beneficial for me.

Comment provided July 31, 2012 at 11:01 PM

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9
Stanley Rao writes:

Excellent time management strategies… i wish one could realize the importance of this

Comment provided August 1, 2012 at 1:40 AM

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10

Great article! In addition to timing my tasks I find adding in a buffer of 10 or 15 minutes between tasks helps to allow for unavoidable distractions

Comment provided August 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

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11
Billy John writes:

I love your 4 points, Penny! We have always been seeking ways to improve time management at our workplace. Another important tip I could add is to use a time tracking software that would fit everyone’s needs.

You could use a lot of software out there. Replicon, Get Harverst, etc. But, we chose Time Doctor because it’s what makes us most productive.

Comment provided August 23, 2012 at 12:18 AM

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12

distinctly focusing the main 4 points, thank you!

Comment provided October 22, 2012 at 9:34 PM

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13
Luke Jackie writes:

This is wonderful write up.Good for repositioning to productivity.If we can work against our distraction and focus to achieve our target,we shall move up faster.

thank you with regards.

Comment provided October 24, 2012 at 4:09 AM

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14
Betty L Eriksen writes:

A very good article for time management. I find I can become easily sidetracked or distracted when researching an article which leads to other links. That’s when I really need to focus on the goal.

Thanks for the four points.

Comment provided October 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

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15
tina writes:

Great article for time management. I would recommend Replcon’s project time management software – http://www.replicon.com/olp/time-management-software.aspx

It is very much simple to use as compared to similar apps such as Harvest & Freshbooks etc and can be so very quickly implemented. It has great support and simple calendar view interface.

Comment provided May 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

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16
Alex Carter writes:

Well these tips are hard to manage or identify. Nice sharing, I found it informative and of value. Thank you for sharing

Comment provided May 15, 2017 at 9:41 AM

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