Sunday, July 22, 2018

What Fills Your Daily Schedule?

There is one resource in the possession of everyone: time. Also everyone spends time doing some activity. As you take control of your schedule or time, you can increase (or waste) your day.

As a writer, how to you fill your days? Do you have a plan or schedule? Or is it random and uncontrolled? I work as an acquisitions editor and a writer. I'm grateful for the flexibility of my daily schedule. Yet to some, this empty calendar can be a concern. How do you fill your time?

As an acquisitions editor, I have some writers and literary agents who reach out to me and want to schedule time on the phone or a meeting in person. Other times I attend or speak at a conference and travel away from my office. Yet overall these types of events or meetings are rare to fill my daily schedule.

In this article, I want to give you some of the tools and action steps I take on a regular basis with my life in publishing.  The steps you take will be different but I hope these words will give you some new ideas for your own writing life.

For years I've been active on Twitter and every day I grow my audience on this social media platform with five actions (detailed here and still being done). There has been admittedly hours of time spent in small chunks to achieve this following. It is a regular part of my day whether I am at home or traveling.

Here's some basic principles to help you:

1. Create a system to handle any action you take on regular basis and keep moving forward. For example, if you are writing a book, set a word count goal. This goal can be for the week or even daily. Then consistently write enough words to meet or exceed your goal and you will keep the project moving forward toward completion.

2. Be aware or actively look for tools to help you automate and meet your goals. For example, with my Morgan James Publishing phone calls to authors, I use an application called DialPad. When I call someone using this program, my direct dial New York phone number shows on the recipient's caller ID—even though I live in Colorado. It is a company branding tool that immediately says New York publisher. This tool also keeps a running list of any of my phone calls listing the date and length. It give me a systematic place to keep track of my phone calls. You may or may not use DialPad but find a way to keep track of such information (if it is important to your work).

3. Consistently work on different stages of the work. For example, some of my work is calling authors who have a contract and answering their question.  Another part of my work is processing new submissions to see if they are the right fit for Morgan James and if so, then I champion these authors to my publication board and colleagues. I'm regularly working on brand new authors and also answering email and phone calls from current authors.

My phone has a feature called Reminders. When I have a deadline for my writing or anything else that I need to accomplish, I will often create a reminder. As I use these tools and check off my tasks, I move forward with a productive day.

Your process of filling your schedule with productive activity will be different from mine. Hopefully I have given you some ideas. If you have another tool or tip, please comment below.


Become more productive. Use three principles from a prolific writer and editor. (Click to Tweet) 

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