Time Management Techniques for Writers

When you are getting ready to practice your craft, you need to know how to set aside adequate time for transitioning into and out of the experience. Whether you are exploring creative writing to enrich your artistic skills, academic writing to help you through school, or professional writing you have to take on as part of your career, all writing processes require this transition time. They also require time for planning, for editing, and for a variety of other tasks.

It might seem simplistic to bring up process writing if you have been creating for some time, but often when writers find their “inspiration” has dried up, what’s actually happened is the time for writing has been abridged, and one or more parts of their process is being cut short. Here are three things you can do to make your time management more effective.

  1. Develop a writing map. Pay attention to all the other things you do between steps while you are writing, and incorporate them into your plans for writing. For some people, that means acknowledging the need to include recreational reading or some time for video games in the mix to provide breaks.
  2. Create milestones. If you limit the time you take on a particular phase of your writing, it often causes you to overlook things you need to cover. At the same time, though, you want clear goals that you can use to prioritize tasks and to make decisions about what can wait for your next session if you are running low on time.
  3. Put deadlines on your calendar, put everything else on a to-do list. That way, you can approach the tasks you need to cover for each writing project as you are ready to do them instead of over-scheduling your time.

If you can use these three tips to help yourself gain control over your writing time, you’ll start to have a better sense of how much time you will need for different projects, and a much better sense of your own progress through them as you go.