Tips for Effective Time-management: Work Smarter, not Harder.

 

‘Look at the time! Where did it go?’ Does this sound familiar?  Become the master of time to increase your writing productivity.

BY KRISTEL CREVITS

 

As a journalist, submitting refined, impactful work includes many administrative tasks. These nitty-gritty, must-do tasks can become your enemy. By labelling them, and understanding their roots, it will allow you to complete them.

Separate research from the writing phase

It is so hard to focus on writing if you think of all the peripheral things that are required to finish an article. E.g. While writing, you need to fact-check something, and before you know it, an hour has passed while you got side-tracked on Facebook. Keep your research phase separate from your writing phase.  Research needs to be controlled, separate from writing the article. You may find you gathered all this valuable information, but you have not written anything down.

 

Ranking the ‘To Dos’

Prioritizing urgency of deadlines should be top of your mind. When you’re juggling tasks, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals. Set daily targets to make small achievements from one moment to the next. Even if the deadlines are self-set, it’s a healthy mental driver to guide and motivate productivity. This will provide momentum and triumphs in your daily tasks, building healthy habits.

 

‘The only reason for time, is so that everything doesn’t happen at once’ Albert Einstein.

 

Keeping to the flow

Know your strengths and weaknesses so you can work around them.  Scott Berkun explained that it’s not the fear of writing that blocks people; it’s the fear of not writing well. We are afraid our work won’t measure up to expectations.

Choose topics you are passionate about, then let your pen flow on paper. Then let the article settle before you become your own editor. Enough time should pass for you to read the article with fresh eyes, otherwise it becomes easy to get stuck in an endless cycle of writers rewrite block.  Albert Einstein said that the only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

 

Recognize Procrastination

Procrastination is a serious challenge, even if you start your day with the best intentions. You might rationalize to yourself, or make believe that what you’re doing is constructive and reasonable e.g. clearing your ‘mental’ writing space to get distractions out of the way for uninterrupted writing time. But after a few hours, you realise you’ve been reading posts about what’s happening on the internet, and cleaning up your email inbox, but not writing.

As Edward Young put it, ‘procrastination is the thief of time’. Identifying and admitting the procrastination enablers will allow you to block them out.

As a journalist, writing an article is unfortunately not the only aspect of being successful. So, spend a little time grasping an understanding of how certain behaviours reduce productivity. It will help you free yourself from the vagaries of time. Call yourself out on your shenanigans. It will have huge benefits throughout your career.

 

About the Author:

Kristel Crevits is an enthusiastic life voyager with an honors degree in marketing who tries to inspire conscious living and dialogue, not only for others but for herself as well. She wants to live a purposeful life, creating opportunities for herself and others to harness the most abundant life possible.

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