I’m often asked how I find the time to write four or five blog posts each week. Here’s how:
1. Turn off the TV. I do watch TV, but when I do it’s typically live sports or shows we’ve recorded on the DVR and watch as a family (skipping over the commercials to compress time). What I don’t do is have the TV on just to have it on. If you’re like me, it will suck you in and drain productive hours out of your day.
2. Turn off the social media. Typically when I write, all the social media is turned off. My phone is also silenced.
3. Close all the other applications on your computer. Don’t just minimize them; close them. The goal is a singular focus on the writing.
4. Develop a focused environment that you can take with you. Mine is fairly simple: a pair of earbuds and iTunes or Spotify to play music which inspires writing and blocks out background noise. Yes, this means I have a second application open, but it’s part of the writing environment.
5. Capture topic ideas when they happen. This way, you don’t sit down at the keyboard wondering what to write. For example, when I sat down to write this post, I had four or five topics in mind that I was excited to write about.
6. Edit what you wrote yesterday before you start writing for today. I find it helpful to look at the parts of my writing I didn’t like the previous day before starting to crank out the new words today. Over the long haul, you begin to write more efficiently and spend less time editing.
7. Spend time each week on editorial planning for the next week. Try stringing together topics that relate and build on each other. Again, the key is to sit down ready to write and not wonder what you will write.
8. Don’t waste time. Recently while waiting for my wife to get ready for our evening out, I sat down and wrote a post. I could have spent time in social media, turned the TV on, made a drink or any one of a number of nonproductive tasks. I chose to be productive. I wrote a post.
9. Enjoy your down time. While it may seem that this point contradicts the previous one, in reality they compliment each other. By not squandering small blocks of time and keeping productive, you can set aside much larger blocks of times to do nothing. There is great value in having no plans and doing little or nothing for a day. The brain needs rest too.
10. Write when you don’t feel like it. You have to force it sometimes. Think of this in terms of exercise. It’s the days you don’t feel like exercising and do it anyway that have the biggest payoff. Those are the days that take the pounds off and keep you healthy. If you want to blog several times a week, you are going to have to get used to writing when you’d rather not.
This is my approach, but your mileage may vary. Is there anything you would add to this list?