The first few months of this year, I had a particularly heavy writing schedule – finishing up my ebook and an unusually large number of client projects in the pipeline at once, along with my regular blog writing routine, and everything else that goes with running a thriving business.
My typical start-of-the-day routine – checking email and catching up with Twitter and other social media – was eating into my most productive morning writing hours.
I was finding that, by the time I took care of social media and moved my thoughts to writing projects, I didn’t have enough clear-headed brain power to do the work well.
Even if I told myself, “I’ll just take a quick look and, if there are no fires to put out, I’ll leave responding until later”, it didn’t help. I always got sucked in . . . and distracted . . . concentration gone.
Pretty quickly I began falling behind. Something had to give. The answer may seem obvious, but I guess I was so used to my routine, it took a few days to shake myself out of it.
Here’s what I did, and plan to continue doing:
No matter what – whether I was expecting a critical email or not – for the first 2-3 hours (more if possible) of every day that I had a writing project in front of me, I wouldn’t check email or social media . . . at all. Once I burned myself out with writing, or once I’d reached that day’s writing goal, I hungrily jumped into email, Twitter and the rest.
This time management practice has worked so well for me – boosting productivity and giving me that deeply satisfying feeling of accomplishment early in the work day. I actually get more done in a day, in fewer hours. It’s really all about prioritizing tasks and fitting them into my day when I’ll best be able to complete them.
photo by Widjaya Ivan