One of the thoughts that’s stayed with me from AWAI’s recent Bootcamp event is that serious writers are serious about policing their time.
At first blush, that sounds a little harsh.
I think so many of us are serious about our writing on one level or another. But does it show in our actions?
At the end of the day, how do you feel about what you got accomplished?
Did you stay on task? Did you give yourself space and time to do your best work? Did you let yourself feel uncomfortable while your ideas were taking shape?
Or did your mind wander more than you would have liked? Did you find yourself running behind and rushing through tasks that could have benefited from more creative thought? Did you dart away to check your texts, your email, your social media the moment the words stopped flowing?
If you’re answering yes to the second batch of questions more than you are the first, then your time could probably use a little more policing. At the very least, a little extra attention and discipline will likely have you feeling like you accomplished more by the day’s end… and that you did better work too.
But what does policing your time look like?
It’s going to look different for different people… and probably even on different days for the same people.
But here are a few things to try…
Make a schedule the night before of what you will spend your time on during each block of your day — make sure you include breaks for movement and breaks for thinking.
Practice mindfulness. Recognize when you’ve given into distractions and deliberately bring yourself back on task.
Think about what you would most like to finish during the day and give those items good focus.
Ruthlessly shorten your to-do list.
Use a timer to keep you on task.
Gamify your day… complete a task, enjoy a reward.
Track how you spend your time, including your distracted time. Make incremental improvements each day.
However you go about it, give more thought to how you would like your day to unfold. Be reasonable about what you can accomplish in the amount of time you have. And then try different methods of staying on task. Adopt the ones that work best for you and discard the rest.
It can take a little time to figure out the right system for your work style, but once you do, you’ll find yourself getting more done and doing better work.
New on the Site
It all started when Russ Henneberry said you should imagine you’re the doctor of marketing. In this tale from Bootcamp, Holly Rhoton shows you what he means by that, and what an impact it can have on your business. Check it out right here.
People are afraid of many different things for many different reasons. For copywriters, the same four fears seem to come up again and again. In this Reality Blog, Suzanna Fitzgerald explores those four fears, how to unmask them, and how to defeat them. This is an important part of the path to stress-free success.
In case you missed it, our recent Member Update webinar shows you how to build a thriving writing business. You’ll discover five aspects of your business that you need to check in on regularly so that your business doesn’t just earn you a great income, but provides you a rewarding and satisfying experience. Watch the recording here.
Congratulations to our Book Review Challenge Winners!
A big shout-out to Cheryl Riser and Lynelle Suan. They each had winning submissions in the September Book Review Challenge. Keep an eye out for their reviews to be published in December and January respectively. They’ll run as featured articles.
When you give them each a read, you’ll come away with several ideas for making small changes that will add up to big differences in your creative and professional life and for changing some key habits for better memory and productivity.
Way to go, Cheryl! Way to go, Lynelle!
Around the Web
Knowing what people are saying about your brand on social media is important. Here, you’ll find 10 tools to keep your finger on the pulse of the response to your brand.
The internet can feel like a crowded place… and that can leave you feeling like being an original is a tough ask. But Problogger has some suggestions to help with that.
Long-form content plays an important role in your SEO strategy. Take a look at this piece from Moz to see why it works and how you can take advantage of it.
Want to learn more about A/B split testing? You’ll find a great, basic tutorial here.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!