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Make More Time to Write With These 15 Simple Tips |

I had a publisher’s contract in hand, two young children to raise, a full-time job, a

Three months later, I sent off the manuscript with a sigh of relief

And wouldn’t you know … that book has sold tens of thousands of copies

It’s tempting to think that one big fat lifestyle change can open the door for you

If I could make time to write during that ultra-busy season of my life, then almost anyone

Regardless, those moves helped me to carve out minutes from my full days to write

Do so consistently … and you’ll make time to write when you thought you had no time

Use a sheet of paper to block off half-hour increments of your day

Block off one of those pockets of time and use it for writing

Set aside the 30-minute window during which your children watch their favorite television program and use it

Attach your writing time to another task for a week and you’ll accumulate 2–3 hours at the

Plenty of pre-writing work can be accomplished when you’re not sitting in front of your computer

Use a voice-to-text app to record your thoughts while you’re in the car, working in the

Could it be that your lists are not specific? A generalized list limits your sense of accomplishment,

But when you have a list of specific writing tasks you want to accomplish, then your brain

That boost propels you into the next task you need to complete in your writing project

Creative, write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writers may push back at using an outline

Your outline can be simple (just 3 bullet points scribbled on a napkin) or detailed (perfectly formatted and

) And because an outline is a plan, you can change it anytime

But a plan gives you a starting point to make time because it eliminates the “what should

This way, when you sit down to write you’ll have a purpose

You’re working ahead of yourself, jotting down ideas as fast as they come

You pause, look at the screen to review what you’ve written — and look at the clock

Your writing time is up and you need to get the kids into bed

You’ll be so eager to get back to your keyboard that you’ll be certain to

Was it the doorbell … internet surfing … social media … a habit of turning on the television rather than

Once you identify your distractor-in-chief, the temptation may be to beat yourself up and throw your hands

A better approach? Choose to avoid that one thing the next time you sit down to write

Or choose designated times to check your email, such as first thing in the morning, at lunch,

Either way, it’s hours, not minutes, that are invested in screen time

Constant phone checking pulls you away from getting words down on paper

Set up notifications that identify those closest to you so that you’re available to them during

And then there are Post-It notes — a blessing in that they’re an easy way to jot

If you still believe in hard copies, then file notes and papers and tear sheets in manila

If you’re converting your life to cyberspace, then use an online app (like Evernote), screenshots, search

“Kathy, do you have a copy of the strategic plan we made in 2010?” Clients routinely ask me

I’m able to do so because I’m unrelenting when it comes to creating file folders

” Then in the “Grants” subfolder, I create a subfolder for the “ABC Foundation” and label the year

But understand it you must — if you want to make time to write

Create file folders for topics you’d like to write about … clients you’re working with … articles

While you’re at it, add tags to those files with your writing software

You’ll make more time to write when you spend less time searching your files

In Microsoft Word, you can add tags through Backstage View, Advanced Properties, or Save As

Add tags with appropriate keywords and words for that piece of content

“Our brains can only focus on one task at a time,” says Cleveland Clinic’s neuropsychologist Cynthia

If you’ve blocked off time to write — even just 20 minutes — then spend that time writing

Find out what doesn’t motivate you to make time to write — and avoid it

That’s why my list doesn’t include “Write a daily word count” as a time-making hack

But when I set a daily word count, then I am so pressured to produce words that

Pumping them out becomes the goal, I end up with gibberish, and I delete most of what

My point: if you want to make time to write, try one tiny change at a time

After you incorporate the change, it’s time to try another

Those bits add up and as a result, you’ll produce more content that you can put

But what if during your busy life seasons, you still managed to write? You can