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We all know about the many amazing benefits of blogging, writing, self-publishing, and other forms of content marketing. But one of the hardest parts is actually finding the time to sit down, write, and create content! I’ve heard from so many people who want to write more or create more content for their businesses but just have so much trouble finding the time and making it a habit. Below are seven tips for finding time in your busy schedule to get your butt in your writing seat and create awesome content.
Write what you’re most enthusiastic about in the moment
Don’t be afraid to take a pause on writing a given topic while you’re writing it. If you’re not getting your thoughts onto the page effectively, or coming up with the thoughts in the first place, move on to something you’re more excited about at that moment. Then, revisit the previous topic when you are more motivated to write it.
This gives you a better return on your time because you will write faster about a topic that you’re more excited about. Eventually, you will have to revisit that topic—hopefully at a time that you are excited to do so, but you may simply have to force yourself.
Do other work between writing sessions
If you’re anything like me, you will find it hard to write for more than a few hours consecutively. Sometimes I’m feeling in the mood and energized to write, and other times I prefer other tasks, such as business development-oriented work.
When you are not in the writing “zone,” work on the other aspects of your life or work. If you get the other aspects of your work and life done sooner, you will have more time to write.
If you sit down to write and are unable to do so, even after trying really hard, sometimes it’s best just to call it a loss before more time is wasted. Conversely, if you are in the zone, take advantage and write more!
Learn ‘Getting Things Done’
Getting Things Done (GTD) is a time-management and productivity system, described in a book of the same name by author David Allen.
In today’s society, the quantity of information we consume and the speed at which we consume it is far greater than it was for our ancestors. We haven’t yet evolved to be able to handle it all. We need new tools and systems to help us. Getting Things Done provides an outstanding framework for managing time and tasks and maximizing productivity.
The GTD system revolves around moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable to-dos. The system has helped me (1) become far more productive, (2) avoid mistakes and forgetting things, and (3) feel less stressed and overwhelmed when I have a lot on my plate.
You probably already have a packed schedule. Everyone’s busy. All the time. I get about a zillion emails per day.
If you’re just getting started with writing, you will have to make time for it within your busy schedule. You will have to take away from the other activities you’re currently doing in order to find time to write.
This often means saying “no” to invitations and temptations. Saying no to stuff is not fun in the short term but pays off in the long term. For example, you may need to spend less time going out with friends or watching TV. This one sounds so simple, but in practice it’s much harder. When you go to put it in practice, keep it simple: Just say no.
Set goals over multiple time periods
You might start by setting goals for your business or your content marketing efforts overall. To accomplish those goals, figure out what you need to accomplish within a year. To accomplish your goals for the year, determine which goals you need to accomplish each quarter. The quarterly goals break down to monthly goals. The monthly goals break down to weekly goals. Lastly, the weekly goals break down into daily goals.
I find setting weekly goals are the most actionable duration for me. I don’t always set daily or monthly goals, but setting weekly goals keeps me focused on what’s going to help me accomplish those goals effectively.
Set slightly overambitious goals
By setting the goals slightly higher than what I’m likely to be able to accomplish, but not so high that they’re unimaginable, I find myself working harder than I would have to make them happen. I remind myself that it’s okay if I don’t meet these goals, so that I don’t get discouraged, but I always strive to do my best at each goal.
Putting in my best effort is sometimes the aspect of the goal that I have the most control over. For example, when self-publishing a book, I would aim to finish it by a certain date and with utmost quality, rather than to sell a certain amount of books, because there are factors out of my control that may determine the sales of the book. How fast and how well I write the book is within my control.
Set goals that are numerically specific and measurable
I would not set a goal of simply “create content.” Instead, the goal would be something like, “Write 750 words.” Putting a specific numeric objective on a goal makes it more actionable. (Tweet This) It ensures that I’m really making progress, and you can track your progress against it. By tracking your progress, you can see what you’re doing well, what needs improvement, and what kind of goals to set in the future.