Sunday, March 3, 2019

Real Time Management For Authors

55 Time-Saving Tips & An Assessment Quiz

Managing your time is a forever challenge, but a necessity, if you want to be a productive and profitable writer. Books are written about this, but it all boils down to some core basics, such as the following 55 tips:

·         Develop a sense of urgency and convey it to others so that they can act in a timely and productive manner.
·         Set daily goals that fit into bigger-picture goals.
·         Establish priorities for the day, every day.
·         Stay focused on what needs to get done.
·         Delegate to others but don’t just dump on them.
·         Say no to time-wasters.
·         Set time limits for meetings or tasks.
·         Multi-task where possible.
·         Do things more efficiently.
·         Pay others to help you – manage them well.
·         Review what sucks your time and see where improvements can be made.
·         Constantly be aware of time and monitor the clock.
·         Acknowledge things you cannot do and simply establish your time is better spent on other things.
·         Help organize and time-manage those who help or impact you.
·         Think and act ahead so that a crisis doesn’t sap your time – pace yourself and start things now that you will need later.
·         Keep an organized, clean and neat work environment.
·         Improve your skills and knowledge so you can do things more efficiently.
·         Do what you do best, what you like most, and what provides the biggest payoff.
·         Be disciplined and tune out distractions.
·         Plan your day in advance and leave a margin of flexibility because things will change.
·         Weigh the pros-cons of action on something specific – do you benefit by jumping on something or waiting?
·         Leverage your best talents.
·         Identify your main constraints, limitations, shortcomings, challenges or opposition and seek to address them.
·         Come rested and motivated – life demands you bring your A-game all the time.
·         Do an easy task first and build momentum.
·         Do a hard task first and get the thing you fear most out of the way early on.
·         Build in setbacks to any deadline that you set.
·         Resolve to take small steps every day towards a bigger project.
·         Be prepared to walk away from something if you see things are not going to work out as planned – better to cut your losses rather than feel obligated to something that is a failure.
·         Lastly, celebrate your accomplishments and wins. If you are going to work hard, long hours and stress out over things, make sure the payoff is well worth it!
  • Pay a few bucks extra on certain services and items, out of convenience, otherwise you spend too much time comparing prices and shopping around or going far away to get what you need.  Keep supplies on hand, rather than making frequent trips to the store – or order online.
  • Keep your active files in order and nearby.  If they aren’t easy to access and by your fingertips you waste time/energy to locate them.
  • Clean off your desk every night.  It unclutters the mind and gives you a fresh start tomorrow.
  • Before undertaking another big project, put away existing ones.
  • Continue learning how to find the best technology for what you need to do and always be educated on how to make use of that technology.
  • Always carry things to read with you – you never know when you’ll have sudden down time (ie: waiting on a line, for a doctor, or a plane).
  • Plan today for tomorrow and the next week.  Think ahead.
  • Make appointments and meetings with beginning and ending times – use 15-minute increments.
  • Be prepared for your day’s activities.  Don’t just wing it.
  • Reward yourself for small victories.
  • Set goals, prioritize them, and plan ahead.  Anticipate problems.
  • Make to-do lists with the intention of doing them, not just listing them.
  • Put off procrastination.
  • Disrupt interruptions from taking over your day.
  • Match your routines and chores to your daily rhythm, so that you can do what needs to get done when you have the energy and focus to do so.
  • Learn to say “no” when you are drowning in to-do lists.
  • Use deadlines wisely by imposing them on every project or task.  Plan backwards to meet them.  Allow for setbacks or unforeseen challenges.
  • Realize that no matter how intelligent, talented, experienced, resourceful or admired you may be, you can’t do it alone.  Get help.
  • Capitalize on what you do best and don’t sweat the stuff you’re not as strong at.  Exploit what you have and forget or ignore your shortcomings.
  • Set your watch and clocks at least five minutes ahead.  It’ll make you move faster and others will think they need to move quicker.
  • Stretch beyond  your comfort zone and confront what tends to slow you down or hold you up.
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes or screwing up.  Just learn from your setbacks.
  • Do as Harvey Mackay, best-selling author, suggests:  “Inspiration you can do alone.  Execution requires other people.”
  • Do a little but in a lot of areas every day.  Plant seeds of all kinds and see what grows.  But also focus on one or two key things and target them as your do-or-die priority.  Your day’s litmus test will center around whether you got done those few things that are most valuable to you.
  • Show you care and others will, too.  Take time out to display your concerns for others and it will be repaid by them. 

Time Management Assessment
Ask yourself the following questions. Your answers will help you assess your true views on managing your time. Once you acknowledge the areas you admit need improvement you can take steps to address them. Of course, there will always be things that demand your attention – in your professional and personal lives – and they will overlap or compete for your time. You will need to weigh each time demand against the other so you can prioritize, in any given day or moment, what should demand your attention and command the commodity of time.

1.      Do you feel you are in too many meetings?

2.      Do the meetings last too long?

3.      Do you allot time to think – to brainstorm and be creative?

4.      What would you cut back on if you needed to?

5.      Do you plan out your day each morning or the night before – or at all?

6.      Are you good at keeping track of your time and accounting for it?

7.      Do you meet deadlines on a regular basis?

8.      How far out do you plan things?

9.      How organized are your notes and “to do” list?

10.  Do you use the latest technology to schedule your time and appointment?

11.  Are you good at guessing how much time needs to be allocated to a task?

12.  Are you good at cutting corners and being efficient?

13.  Do you ask for help? Do you delegate to others?

14.  Do you accept constructive feedback?

15.  When does your energy tend to slow down? How do you inject an energy infusion?

16.  Do you tend to avoid important decisions and procrastinate?

17.  Do you get distracted easily?

18.  Are you challenged to say “no” to others?

19.  Do you spend too much time socializing?

20.  Can you shorten your breaks or lunch hour?

21.  Do you heed unsolicited advice?

22.  Do you set daily goals in the larger context of what you need to accomplish?

23.  Do you feel distracted in your work environment?

24.  Are your files in order?

25.  Do you really need to do things the exact way you have been doing them or do you see ways to modify your routine?

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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