From Writer’s Block to Writing Blocks: A Time Management Strategy
Last week, we discussed using tapping to address the emotional responses to putting your work out into the world. (Thank you for your feedback! I'm thrilled that so many of you found the meditation helpful.) This week, we'll look at a practical time-management strategy for successfully getting words on the page.
One of the biggest complaints that I hear from folks afflicted by Writer's Block is that they can't focus and find it difficult to muster up the energy to sit down and write the dang thing.
Here is my strategy for eliminating distractions and breaking the task into manageable blocks of time.
Divide your work time into three or more 45-minute increments, with at least a 10-minute break in between sessions.
Studies show that the human brain can focus most effectively for about 45 minutes -- more time than this, and the brain loses steam, resulting in a loss of productivity. So set your timer for 45 minutes -- I use my phone app -- and when time is up, do something completely different for 10 minutes. Take a walk, wash your face, dance around your living room, or grab a healthy snack -- just step away from the screen (yes, that includes your phone.) Then return to your project with renewed gusto!
How to plan your 45-minute work sessions effectively:
Collect all of the information you think you’ll need for reference. If you are writing a cover letter, jot down a few notes about yourself that you’d like to share -- and also gather as much information as you can about the business or client as well. By having all of the information you need in one place, you can resist the urge to interrupt your writing to surf the web.
Once you have a stash of information or ideas gathered, take 45 minutes to hammer out a rough draft. You can refer to your notes during this time, but try to resist the urge to look up any additional information or collect images. Just write as much as you can on the page within this time.
Refine Refine Refine -- This is the time to read over what you wrote to see what needs to be added, deleted, reorganized, or polished. Now is the time to find additional images, data, or clarifying information. Also, use this time to break out the thesaurus to look for words that accurately convey what you are trying to express.
Repeat Steps 2 & 3 (especially for larger projects) until you are ready to share your work!
Let me know if these strategies work for you!
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This service is not a substitute for psychological counseling or any other type of therapy or medical advice. Services provided by The Lovely Unbecoming do not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals.