Stop Blowing Precious Brain Circuits Trying To Write That Book! Making your mark as an author can cause your brain to blow a circuit.
First of all, there’s this thing we call “writing.” You need to write a certain number of pages or words every day, meet a deadline, or research a topic in order to move your manuscript forward.
At the same time, you need to tackle your author marketing: social media posts, writing blog posts, managing your website, and being active in online groups where your target audience hangs out.
If you wait to promote your book until after it’s released, it’s too late.
But none of this does anything to improve your writing skills. You also need to make time to join a writer’s group, attend an online workshop, or read books to sharpen your writing skills or learn better marketing strategies.
That’s a lot of stuff on your plate.
Like I said, all of this can cause you to blow precious circuits in your brain—and it’s not getting easier.
Writers shoulder more responsibility than ever before. Twenty years ago, when I wrote my first book, writers could simply write, and publishing companies handled all the marketing and platform-building. Today, writers are doing it all.
How Can You Possibly Find the Time?
You can’t add more hours to your day. And if you’re waiting until you can carve out huge blocks of time to devote to writing or platform building, you may be waiting for decades.
But what if you could learn a few tricks to be more productive in shorter blocks of time?
What if you could learn how to master those blocks of twenty, thirty, forty minutes we often find in a day—and waste scrolling on our phones because we don’t think we have enough time to tackle a real project?
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Here Are Three Easy Productivity Tips
Read below for a simple strategy to get the most of those short blocks of time moments:
- Create a Quickie Cheat Sheet
Spend ten minutes each night creating or updating a Quickie Cheat Sheet. This is a list of tasks you can accomplish in less than twenty minutes. Not everything you need to do to be a successful writer can be broken into a twenty-minute task, but some things can—and you may discover that some large tasks can be divided into twenty-minute segments and added to the list.
What can you do in twenty minutes? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Send an email
- Research your next blog post
- Outline your next blog post
- Post something on social media
- Write 200 words
- Read one chapter of a book on writing
- Edit one page of a first draft
The next time you have a small block of time, you won’t waste it wondering what you could be doing. Just grab your list, pick an item, and dive in.
And if you spend only a few minutes every day reviewing and updating your Quickie Cheat Sheet, it won’t be hard to do, because your subconscious brain will have already gotten started on the task.
- Practice being productive in shorter bursts
Often when we sit down to tackle a task, we take time getting up to speed. We might open a file to get started, then decide to check email or social media. We return to our project for five minutes, then get up to get a drink of water. Eventually we get in the “zone” and get some serious work done.
But when you only have twenty or thirty minutes to get something done, even ten minutes getting up to speed is too long.
As you sit down to make the most of a small window of time, run through these five Focus-Boosters before you get started:
- Turn off your cell phone
- Turn off computer notifications
- Set a timer
- Turn on music that helps you focus. com is a great source for music designed to help you get into the “zone” quickly.
- Put a sign on your door. Let colleagues and family members know you’re off limits for half an hour or so. When you’ve just got thirty minutes, even a short distraction can be brutal.
- Look for small blocks of time in your day
You have your Quickie Cheat Sheet, so you know what to do.
You have your five Focus-Boosters, so you know how to get it done.
You’re almost ready to rock and roll.
The only thing left is to train yourself to spot small blocks of time in your day. For most of us, those blocks naturally exist.
And if you feel like you don’t have those windows of time—and need to create some—there are ways to do that:
- Wake up twenty minutes earlier.
- Delete Facebook from your phone.
- Wash your dishes quickly after dinner rather than spending double the time scraping off dried food the next day.
You get the idea.
Your writing dreams don’t have to wait until you’re an empty nester or you’re magically gifted with big gaps in your busy schedule.
What you want to accomplish with words matters. It’s important. Let’s make it happen!
One of the great motivators to setting aside time to finish your manuscript is establishing a hard deadline. We can help you with that.
Click here to schedule a strategy session with me.
Now is the time to finish your manuscript.
Let’s bring your book to life!
Michael J. Klassen
President, Illumify Media