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.
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!