10 Time Saving Tips for Authors

In no particular order

  1. Start using a Productivity System like Getting Things Done
  2. Measure how much time you are actually spending on writing
    1. Keep a Journal or a Diary with a record of hours you spent each day on actual writing
    2. Use a Software like RescueTime to measure what you are actually doing when sitting and working on your computer
    3. Use an App to measure what you use on your phone
  3. Remove all distractions from your phone and computer
    1. Block Facebook, Twitter, Instagram from your Phone and your Computer
    2. Delete all games and ‘consumption’ apps from your phone and computer
    3. Block all ‘News’ Sites and ‘Political’ sites from your phone and computer
  4. If you have problems concentrating for long stretches, then try one of the following
    1. Use the Pommodoro Technique to work in bursts
    2. Use a White Noise App to drown out background distractions
    3. Use a Distraction Free Writing App to block the Internet for a specified number of hours
  5. Set Daily Goals and Review them at the end of each day
    1. Each day have one #1 Goal and focus on getting that done first
    2. After that have some bonus goals. If you feel like it, then after getting your #1 Goal of the Day, go for these goals
  6.  Set up a Reward Structure
    1. Attach Rewards to Good Behavior and to doing things that add value to your career
    2. Make sure you actually take the rewards you earn
  7. Have an hour of ‘Me Time’ every day. Do something relaxing like taking a walk, or yoga, or meditation, or playing a sport you love. It must be something physical
  8. Cut out as many ‘distraction creating items’ as possible from your life. Things like TV, Internet surfing, Cat photo websites, Facebook, etc
    1. These sites put you in Consumer mindset of ‘chasing the next distraction’
    2. You instead want to focus on Creator Mindset of clearing your mind and freeing your mind and CREATING
  9. Set specified times for answering emails and avoid emails the rest of the day. Half an hour in the afternoon and 15 minutes at night is more than enough for most people
  10. Do not let news bother you or affect your focus on work. Every day it’s WW III or the Earth sinking into the oceans. IF you want to get things done, it’s best to avoid news as it is tailored to create stress and unhappiness
    1. Your sole focus should be on your work
    2. If you like you can set one day a week to ‘worrying about how humanity is killing itself’ or whatever other concerns you might have

Bonus: Another 10 Time Saving Tips

  1. Improve Your Typing Speed as it will help every aspect of your life, especially the speed at which you can write books
  2. Get a very good computer (best you can afford) and a very good phone (best you can afford). These two tools will save you a lot of time
  3. Learn to say NO to people who make excessive demands of your time and energy
    1. Make sure you don’t get distracted by other people’s problems and drama
    2. Don’t be giving your time to someone else’s work – focus on your own
  4. Follow Pareto Principle – Identify the 20% of your efforts that lead to 80% of the good results. Focus more and more time on these ‘super productive’ efforts
  5. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
    1. Often we end up wasting hours or days ‘fixing’ something that works perfectly
  6. Make sure you are eating a decent (yet moderate) amount and drinking lots of water
    1. Often our distractions are caused by being thirsty or hungry
  7. If you often get distracted deciding what to cook or what to order
    1. Cook for 4 to 7 days at a time, divide into meal size portions, and put it in the freezer or fridge
    2. Set up a schedule for food delivery and just use that to order within 5 minutes, instead of spending 30 minutes choosing between Kim’s Convenience Store Hot Dogs and Papa John’s
  8. Always make sure you get your required hours of sleep
    1. Most people need between 6 to 9 hours of sleep
    2. Get the required sleep time
  9. Don’t let vacations turn into lost months
    1. If you need a vacation after your vacation then you are doing it wrong
    2. Make sure your vacation is relaxing, and self contained i.e. it ends when the actual vacation days end
    3. If you need a week off from writing after your vacation, while slowly coming back to reality, you are picking the wrong vacation
  10. Set Weekly and Monthly Deadlines and REVIEW them
    1. In addition to Daily Goals, set Weekly and Monthly Deadlines and review them

Hope these tips help you be more efficient and get more out of your time

Remember, time is one resource we each get the same of, and we can never get time back

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