So I’ve got a request for you.
You’ve probably clicked on this post because writing feels impossible, but I want you to think about everything you do in a day. Not just the huge activities like work, but the small ones too like your break, time you spend on YouTube, time you spend with friends, time you spend watching TV, time you spend just being idle, etc. Write it down if you can.
Now you’ll be glad to know that regardless of what you’ve written, you do have time to write. Because it’s impossible that anyone could be busy for 24hrs a day/ 7 days a week. If you actually worked this type of schedule you would be dead now, (or very close) not reading this! And because of that there is no such thing as having “no” time to write.
But here’s what you can do if you are struggling:
1.) Figure Out When You Are Most Productive/ What Conditions Makes You The Most Productive
Because it’s not about having huge blocks of new time for all the words in the world. It’s about managing what time you have wisely. If you have an hour and I have five minutes, you have an advantage, but if you waste that hour and I’ve written 150 words, then the hour is pointless. Now I realize that some people might have productive periods when they’re at work and can’t write, this why I’ve also put what conditions makes you the most productive because if you can’t reach that golden time, you can try to copy those conditions. Also it’s nice to know because some people have more than one productive time. 😉
2.) Eliminate Distractions
Sorry, but Netflix gotta go. Facebook too. And Twitter/Instagram/ Whatever new fangled stuff people are using these days.
Turn off that phone if you can, or at least the notifications for social media and put your phone far away from you so it’s more deterring to get up and get it. Give the kids something to play with if it’s your turn to watch them. If the internet is your poison, get an app that stops for a little bit like Freedom or Self-Control. Maybe limit yourself to sites that help you look things up. Also don’t worry if you catch yourself slipping. This one isn’t meant to be easy at first, especially if you’re a social media-holic.
3.) Protect That Time!
This is where it gets tricky. Sometimes we’ve got friends and family that just don’t understand that we want to get writing done. Sometimes other people just don’t respect our work and think that it’s okay to barge whenever they want. But if you’re fortunate and live with people do all you have to do is let them know that you’re doing this, maybe even ask them to help you be accountable.
However if you do live around people who don’t respect your writing, all I can advise you is to maybe write somewhere else, or maybe even sneak writing when they aren’t around. Lock a door if you must.
4.)Get Up Earlier/Go To Bed Later
Not like 4am or anything, unless that’s your only option. But take the time you get up and maybe get up thirty minutes earlier than what you usually do. Maybe do the same with the time you sleep: go to sleep a little bit later. For most people this is the biggest place where they can scrape out a little bit of extra time. And you don’t have to scrape out a whole. Just as much as you’re comfortable with.
5.)Eliminate the Mindset That You Can’t Make Time
You always can. Perhaps the better phrase people should use is “I want to write, but I don’t want to give up anything to do it.” Because like I’ve said before, no one is literally working 24/7. There’s a lot of minutes going to waste that you probably aren’t aware of: when you’re eating, you could be writing. When you’re just sitting in the car waiting on someone to show up, you can write. When you’re ruminating about someone who made you angry or worrying about things you can’t change, that is time that can be spent writing.
When you’re watching Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Doctor Who… When you’re playing Pokemon Go, Final Fantasy, Zelda, or whatever it is, that’s still time spent not writing. Usually very large chunks of time that people don’t want to let go of because it’s comfortable, fun, and not that hard.
Now of course, I’m not saying that you can’t do these things, just the the opportunity to make time is everywhere in your schedule. It’s all about trade-offs.