Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shooing the Fly and other Great Time Management Tips

Okay you writerly types...these brilliant tips have been earned from my own personal battle scars.

Tip 1: As much as possible, work ahead of schedule. Put the manuscript away for a few days, then read through it again. You’ll see it with fresh eyes and—I guarantee—it will be a better end product. It’s a trick I learned in college—my grades took a sharp rise. Finally.

Tip 2: Take care of other things that can distract you—like bill paying or returning phone calls. Otherwise, you're "shooing the fly."

Tip 3: If you work at home, like I do, try to establish “business hours” and let your friends know when you’re available and when you’re not.

Tip 4: Simplify other areas in your life. Menu planning. Shopping. Running errands. I try to combine three errands together to justify a trip out.

Tip 5: Protect your creative time. For me, that’s morning. Arrange activities around that highly creative time of the day. For example, shift doing the laundry or emptying the dishwasher to late afternoon.

These really, really, really work. Print them out and tape them to your bathroom mirror. Repeat them every day. Then, in a year, when you are getting picked up in a limo to be sent to a booksigning event for your bestselling novel, drop me an e-mail and thank me.