In this episode, I’m sharing five hacks to create more time and manage your authorly workflow better!
Tune in to discover:
- Tips to organise your brain and to-dos.
- Processes that can save you time and energy.
- Intentional decisions you can make to improve your authorly workflow.
Today I’m chatting about a topic that I think will be super helpful for lots of busy writers out there—productivity and time management!
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of underestimating how much time you have, or feel severely underproductive most days?
Yep, I’ve definitely been there.
There’s a couple of workflow hacks that I’ve implemented which really help me get past these things, and today I wanted to share five of my favorites with you.
2;10 – Checklists
I love checklists—I can’t say enough good things about this method. I use checklists on a daily basis, and I specifically purchased a Simplified Planner purely for it’s checklist daily layout.
Checklists are good for sooo many reasons. For one, they allow you to braindump everything on your mind and check it off at your own pace—which makes it less likely for you to forget a task. You can also add to it as you go at any time.
Secondly, the actual process of checking off tasks helps you to visually see just how productive you’re being (even if your workflow feels like a breeze. I myself like to start my day with all the easy to-do tasks, and finish up doing the more time-consuming ones because it makes me feel super productive to spend my morning ticking off as much as I can and sets me up with great energy.
I tend to plan my day in my planner the night before using a checklist—but on rush days, I can also braindump a checklist in my phone notes and use it on the go. Checklists are uh-mazing.
3:16 – Prioritizing
Now this is something I used to struggle with, and I know a lot of other people do as well. It’s the constant battle between doing time sensitive tasks, and the tasks you actually enjoy doing which makes this a tricky problem.
However, I like to use a simple tool that I actually included in my recent release, The Balanced Launch—it’s a three-column list divided up between low, medium and high priority, and I like using it during time sensitive periods.
In my high priority list, I put any essential tasks that will keep my workflow, biz, household and life flowing (because let’s face it, fuel and grocery runs don’t disappear during these periods). In my medium priority list, I put tasks that I’d like to get done if I can, but can push back to a later date if needed.
Then, in my low priority list, I put tasks that I need to remember but can postpone, or even outsource if I really need to.
The thing is that you’ll want to prioritize everything on your plate because it’s all important to a certain degree, but this tool helps you to put boundaries in place and help recognise what you can realistically fit into your workday on top of your everyday life. Speaking of boundaries, this leads me to tip number three…
4:35- Setting Boundaries
Boundaries are very important to have in place, and when you work from home it’s easy to blur these lines. I’ve burned myself out way too many times because I happen to enjoy my job as much as I enjoy a good Netflix binge—but like all things, too much can be overwhelming.
It’s really crucial to ensure you are making time for breaks, and purposefully including activities that fill you with joy in your schedule. This can be anything from spending time with family, to meeting a friend for brunch each week, to going to a theme park or movie once a month. Downtime is just as important as work, and without a balance between the two, it becomes easy to lose motivation and drain your energy.
5:21 – Routines
Now, routines might sound boring, but boy do they help minimise confusion and overwhelm when it gets busy. In fact, having a writing routine can actually trick your brain into getting inspired at the same time every day, which makes it a lot easier to write consistently.
Once you’ve put your boundaries in place, strengthen them by following a routine. Maybe you work in the mornings and spend the afternoons at the gym. Maybe you clock out by 5pm every evening—no exceptions. Maybe you write for one hour before bed. Whatever works for you, stick to it and you’ll find staying productive and keeping to schedules a whole lot easier.
And, my final tip for you today is…
6:03 – Automation
In any workflow, the more you can automate, the more time you’ll create—which is why one of the first things I did when I started my business was automate my social media posts, email sequences, appointment scheduling and connected all my email inboxes through to my phone. The less time I have to spend manually publishing, sending, scheduling, checking and posting things, the more time I can spend with my clients, on writing, and creating amazing content (like this podcast).
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, I’ve got money coming in, new leads on my list each day, and important book news is going out thanks to these systems I put in place.
Automation is well worth the time spent setting up, and I highly, highly recommend it.
Those are all the time management tips I have for you today—which one did you like the sound of most? Will you be implementing any of these? I’d love for you to come follow me on Instagram and let me know!
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Pagan Malcolm is a bestselling fiction author, speaker, podcaster and business coach for authors. She helps aspiring authors finish their books, build the foundations for consistent book sales and establish a standout author brand that gets them KNOWN.
Pagan Malcolm is a business coach for authors helping writers to leverage the business side of publishing so that they can kickstart profitable writing careers and become established authors. She has been featured in various publications including Writer’s Digest and The Write Life Top 100 Websites For Writers.
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