Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look atHow to Schedule Your Time.
Below is an excerpt from my book TR Independent Books Guide to Writing:
Really! Everyone knows how to schedule don’t they?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Not because the people are stupid. They were probably never taught to schedule.
I learned the hard way of the necessity to schedule my time. As I entered the multifaceted world of writing, publishing, and marketing I found my time to be precious. Everything and everyone wanted it.
One of the best books on the subject I have ever read was Success God’s Way by Charles Stanley. He included a whole chapter devoted to the subject of time management. It is based on Ephesians 5:15-16: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
However, you do it, it is necessary that you schedule your personal and professional time.
But Scheduling is more than just the setting up a time for each task, it is making priorities. Every day I make a short priority list – by short I mean no more than three items. It may start out as more than three items, but it often is reduced to a more manageable three.
This is not your typical “to-do” list, but it is related. Think of it this way, make your “to-do” list and select the top two or three.
If you are like me, having a long list usually leaves items undone and I a little discouraged. But when I limit it to two or three there is a much better opportunity for me to accomplish all of them!
Scheduling also involves appointments. As an author you will need to keep track of when you are to meet with or contact agents or publishers or even reporters, when you are supposed to do a book signing, and many other events.
Tip #1: Redeem the time: make good use of your time. Schedule it!
Tip #2: Make your “to do” list and select the top two or three.
Tip #3: Do it!
I actually schedule my time beginning with my morning devotions. I have what I call Focus. I usually focus on two, sometimes three items related to writing. I also write them down in my calendar.
However you do it, make it a habit. You will quickly discover just how valuable a habit it is!
Scheduling is not really rocket science, but it does require thought. It rests firmly on your concept of what is truly important for your writing career. It is one of your most important priorities.
So if you have never put down a to-do list before do it now. It’s easy. Start by writing down, in no particular order, everything you think is important to be done.
Then narrow the list down to seven or ten items (still no order).
Now you have what I call a typical to-do list. Your next step is very difficult: arranging the items in order of importance. I suggest three categories: important, more important, and most important.
That will probably take some time, but your next step requires you to take the top three. By this time everything should be in order of priority. But it is possible that the top two or three items may be tied. If so, you need to narrow it down further.
To help you get to your final two or three items, ask yourself what needs to be done and what has to be done.
Now you have your list of two or three must do items. The final step is the most important: Do it!
The above excerpt is from TR Writing Services Guide to Writing.
Digging deeper, what is the danger of not scheduling? Here are some dangers right off the top of my head:
- Not getting it done. If you don’t schedule your time there is the danger of forgetting to do a necessary task when you wanted it done.
- Rushing the work. When we don’t schedule the work and then later realize it must be done now, we tend to rush. Thereby producing a document or book or whatever with errors and sloppy work.
- Not enough time to edit. You’re under the clock and you’ve rushed the work, but still don’t have time to properly edit. This will result in you publishing a terrible book or being forced to cancel or delay the book project.
It is never too late to begin scheduling. My body is loaded with lazy bones which causes me to take shortcuts. One shortcut is to forget to schedule my work or to make a careless schedule. Either one or both can lead to waste of valuable time.
That said, I can restart, reboot, or whatever you want to call, but the main point is to get myself back in the habit of scheduling. Which brings up my final tip:
Tip #4: Make scheduling a daily habit.
That is easier said than done. It requires work. Make it the last thing you do in your work day by scheduling the next day; or make it the first thing you do in your work day by scheduling that day’s work. Then work it!
And if you forget to do it, get back on board immediately. Sometimes I’ve neglected a schedule and then realized it after already starting my workday. In cases like that I stop what I’m doing and schedule the rest of the day. It’s not perfect and certainly not desirable, but it does work.
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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.