Productivity is a problem for almost everyone, even outside the writing world. There is a list of to-do items that we can’t possibly keep up with. But yet we still do them. It is a way for us to remember and keep things organized.
However, does it help?
There are different ways to be productive in our writing. I’ve often said that 1000 words a day are the way to go. But someone brought to my attention that not everyone works that way. Their life is different from mine, and they would struggle with doing in that way.
So how do you finish a book and do all the tasks of a writer?
I listened to a podcast called The Writer’s Well. And J., as he is called, mentioned that he does time blocking. It intrigued me because I too have the problem of being stretched too thin, neither am I in the position to hire a VA as of yet.
And this is where time blocking may be helpful.
Time Blocking & What Is It
J. said that he blocks time for all his tasks throughout the week, including his writing. But he doesn’t write every day. And gasp he takes Fridays off. Wouldn’t that be nice? Of course, if we are in a day job, taking a day off may not be possible.
But we do need a break here and there.
How It Can Work For You
If you have a hard time getting your words every day because you’re overwhelmed with other tasks, why not try the time blocking strategy?
Block off a bit of time for your social media. You can also do the same for email management. And of course, your writing time.
However, I think you should still have a word goal for the week. If you want to do 7000 words every week, which is the same goal is 1000 words a day, block off two days a week for two or three hours and split them in half.
If it would work better for you, you could even block off an afternoon with a 7000-word count.
In your time blocking for other tasks, you could block that out, so you don’t feel like you’re falling behind. Sometimes they say doing a little of everything is better than doing nothing at all.
Writing 1000 words a day works best for me. It keeps the story in my head. But if I’m having a hard time getting edits done for my story, I may time block that out. I had said that if I did 1000 words a day, then edit for a certain amount of time, plus start brainstorming a new book, and I’ll always be moving along.
I still believe that. But time blocking all of that out will help to keep me on track.
Time Blocking System
If you would like to give this a try, this is my suggestion for the time blocking system.
First, decide on a weekly word goal. I’d stay with the 7000 because that’ll get you a finished book in two months. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be writing the same book for more than two months.
Second, decide how you will split that 7000 up. Maybe you’ll be able to knock that out in one day. Good for you. Or maybe like I said in this blog, you’re a weekend writer. In that blog, I suggested that you think of your 7000 words all week. Jot down notes and story beats to get you through those words and keep you in touch with your story.
Third, brainstorm what you are looking to accomplished during the week besides your word count.
Get out your weekly calendar or whiteboard and schedule it all in. You may also use a digital calendar. I need the reminder front and center, or I’ll get sidetracked.
When you schedule it in, write down or block of the time frame you’re going to be working on each task.
Be sure to give yourself a breather before you start in on the next task.
Access The Week
As you go through it, access how well it’s working for you. If you need more time on a task, schedule more time the next time around.
Keep track of what does work for you and hold onto that.
There will be things that pop up that you have no way of planning for. It’s life. But it’s not meant to derail you. Take care of what you need to and get back to it.
At the end of the month, you’ll have things that you have accomplished. And what you didn’t you reschedule for the following week.
Eat The Frog
It might be best to do the task you like the least first. Keep in your allotted time slot and slay the tasks. And when done, you’re going to feel refreshed and able to stick to the other tasks you have on your time block schedule.
This is one way that might help you get your book written promptly. It might need tweaking, or it might not work for you at all.
The point is to give it a try and see what works for you.
The Mindset of Time Blocking
Keep in mind that your brain is going to try and sidetrack you so that you don’t do the work. It’s crazy to think of how many times your thoughts and beliefs will come up to stop you. But it’s true. You’ll have to school your brain and let it know that you’re going to do this. Don’t let it tell you that you have nothing to write today and it’ll be better if you wait.
Do not wait and do not let it win. It’s like a child that needs discipline. If you want to write that book you’ve been dreaming about writing, you’ll need to turn those thoughts into successful ones.
How about you? Do you time block? Will you try time blocking? Leave a comment below and let me know. And if you liked this blog, like and subscribed to my newsletter, so you get an email every time a new helpful blog is published.