Whether you’re writing for your blog and business, or you’re writing for sheer pleasure, one of the hardest things to do is find the time. After all, with so many other commitments and things to do, it’s difficult to carve out the time you need to get your words down in a word processor.
You’ve got the motivation (and if you don’t, go check out that article). Now you need the time.
So here are five easy ways to grab yourself more time to write.
Limit Your Email Time
By far, one of the biggest time sucks is when you constantly check your email. However, it’s very rare that one of your emails needs to be answered immediately.
So close your Gmail tab or Outlook screen, and put your smartphone on the other side of the room. Schedule three to four specific times of the day when you will check your email and force yourself not to do it in between.
Also maximize the time that you are in your email inbox by writing shorter emails, immediately responding, and filing them into proper folders.
Not only will you cut down the time in your inbox, but you may also cut down on the amount of emails you receive.
Schedule Your Social Media
I am extremely guilty of wasting a ton of time on Facebook and Twitter. But when you need to get things done, you should schedule your social media updates and then check it just a couple times throughout the day.
Make use of scheduling tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to send out updates to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ at predetermined times. If you run a Facebook business page, you can now schedule updates right from Facebook. If Pinterest is your social network of choice, check out Pingraphy to start scheduling your pins and limit your time on the site.
You can schedule all of your updates at one point in the morning or night and then just hop on once or twice a day to reply to others.
Get Up Earlier or Shift Activities
Many best-selling authors and writers who still have a day job swear by waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. If you’re a morning person and can hop out of bed earlier, then this is one of the easiest ways to find the time.
But if you’re not, you can make more time for yourself in the morning by shifting some of your activities to the night before. Get a programmable coffee pot, prepare it at night, and set it to automatically brew in the morning. Pack or decide your lunch the night before so you’re able to just grab it and go the next day. Pick out your outfit the night before.
Changing around just a couple activities can give you thirty more minutes in the morning.
Change Your TV Habits
Watch a lot of TV? Then you know that TV takes up a large portion of free time. So if it’s possible, consider cutting out unnecessary TV shows. Do you really need to watch that all day marathon of Say Yes to the Dress? Are all twelve of the sitcoms you watch still funny to you?
If dropping TV shows is out of the question (and I’ll be honest, I can’t give up my TV yet), then consider recording them all on a DVR and watching them later without commercials. You can cut 30 minutes to about 22 and 60 into 42. If you don’t have a DVR, then watch them on Hulu the next day – they don’t have as many commercials as the original showing.
Schedule Yourself Some Specific Writing Time
And if you really need to get some writing done, just schedule yourself a particular time slot during the day and get it done. Let everyone in your house know that you’re working for the next X amount of hours. Close all of your internet browsers. Turn off your phone or set it to do not disturb. If you really need to get down to business try an app like ZenWriter that blocks out the rest of the computer and makes you focus on writing.
When you’re able to block out distractions and start writing consistently, you’ll also start writing faster, which will really let you maximize the time you have to write.
Have you used any of these tips to find more time to write? Do you have any other time saving techniques to share?