How to schedule creative work

I've had a schedule imposed on me since I was 5 years old. It started on my first day of school and carried through into my adult life with a series of 9-5 jobs. Wake up, get ready, commute, spend the day working with tasks defined by my teachers/boss, commute back home, eat and enjoy myself, then go to bed to start it all over again the next morning. So when I finally left my day job to focus full time on writing and publishing my debut novel, it was a wake-up call in time management.

During the past year, I've accomplished some great things, but it wasn't until last week when I finally asked myself if I was being efficient in my work? Was I making smart choices with my time or was I taking on too much? And why did I always feel like I didn't get enough done at the end of the day?

In an effort to make a bigger impact on the many project I was working on, I decided to schedule my time. I know it's a crazy concept for someone who'd finally broken free from the 9-5 shackles only to voluntarily wear them again, but I had to come to terms with the fact that my brain and work ethic was formed on scheduling, and the structure actually helped me achieve my goals and earn those feelings of accomplishment.

Even more importantly, making a schedule helped ensure I was getting "me time" instead of working all the time as new entrepreneurs tend to do. Also, being a huge fan of Dragon's Den helped me stumble upon top dragon Arlene Dickinson's new venture called YouInc, an online community of entrepreneurs, where I read a great post by a doctor about scheduling exercise into the day.

So in an effort to help writers and entrepreneurs out there with their own time management, here's a look at my new schedule which carves out equal time for sales (selling my debut novel), new business (writing my next book), branding (social media), learning (course work/seminars), and new business ideas, while also leaving ample space to fit in me time and exercise. 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Sales/Marketing

Social media

Writing

Course work

Social media

Writing

Sales/Financials

Social media

Writing

New business development

Social media

Blog

Social media

Open schedule

 

Course work

Social media

 

 

 

 

 

May your days be filled with happy scheduling!

 

Stacey D. Atkinson is the author of the newly released novel Stuck, which she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing. 

 

 

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