Most writers, no matter how prolific they are, would probably like to be able to write more, and more easily. Having a writing schedule, and a system in place for when you write, can be a big help for making you more efficient and prolific.
Finding the ideal writing schedule for you isn’t difficult, but it will take time, observation, and experimentation. It’s well worth the effort to know you’re writing at the times that are best for you.
How to Design Your Ideal Writing Schedule
Take a Look at Your Current Schedule
To start building a writing schedule you need to be able to see what time you actually have available for writing. This is easier if you have a job with regular working hours, because you can automatically block out time for work, family time, regular meetings, sleep, etc.
No matter how you spend your days, though, you should take a week or so to track your time so you can see what you tend to do when throughout the day.
Think about Your Energy Levels
Even the busiest person probably has pockets of time in her day when she can choose what to do, usually at least in the morning and at night, but probably other times, too.
But just because you have time when you could be writing doesn’t mean it’s the best time for you.
I am not a morning person. I will never be one of those get up before the family and write people. But maybe you are.
Look at the times on your log when you were able to choose what you were doing, and see what you typically do with those times. Is it something that requires thought, like writing, or something more mindless, like Facebook?
That will give you a clue as to when might be the best times for you to write.
Make Pockets of Time
A big misconception people have around writing time is that you have to have a big, uninterrupted chunk to get anything done.
But if you keep waiting around for the the ideal afternoon when the kids are gone and the laundry is done (ha!), you will never get started on that project you’ve always wanted to do.
Know that you don’t have to write a blog post or article all in one sitting. Think about all the steps that go into a post – research, writing, adding links, editing, taking and editing photos, scheduling social media – each one can be done in its own time slot if that’s all the time you have, and some of those things can go into those lower energy time slots when you wouldn’t want to be writing.
Think how you can change your normal work flow and routines to give yourself more writing time when your energy is good.
For instance, could you take a lunch break away from your desk and write in a notebook, or do a little editing after the kids go to bed?
If you can focus on what really needs to get done in the time you have, you don’t need a lot of time all at once.
What about Big Projects?
You might be thinking this approach is fine for writing blog posts but how do you write an ebook or a big cornerstone piece of content in a few minutes a day?
But the busiest bloggers I know are producing tons of content in just this way. They block out time for daily projects and for the extra things they want to get done.
Some people work on their special projects first so they know it’s getting done; others do their essential daily work first and then take a chunk for working on another project.
I’m a do the extra work first kind of person, because otherwise I will make the “essential” stuff take all day, but whichever method works for you is the right one.
Do you have a regular writing schedule or do you just work when you have time? We’d love to hear your thoughts!