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Time management for writers

My top ten time management tips

When we’re trying to establish a writing habit or working on a longer writing project and therefore need to make progress over several weeks, months or even years, time management techniques are going to help. I’m writing a series of blog posts based on my top ten time management favourites – with activities to do plus resources – to celebrate the new edition of my book on goal-setting and time management coming out. I can’t do that without sharing how they’re relevant to writers. So here goes. I’ll write each post in two parts – part one will give you a time management technique I’ve found particularly useful, and part two will apply it to the writing life, or creative living generally.

Top tip number one

Here’s a summary of top tip number one: You can’t manage time. Therefore, the term ‘time management’ must be a euphemism. Value-led time management means also considering space, other people and context, as well as time. I didn’t indend to come up with the acronym SOC but decided to go with it – hence the pictures that accompany this series. (To read more about why I’m including space, other people and context in a series on time management, check out the first post in this series.)

SOC for writers

We tend to forget about space, other people and context when either trying to overcome procrastination or when attempting turn up and write regularly. So what can we do about it?

I call this getting the basics right. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you will have heard me talk about it before. Without the basics, you can’t sustain your writing over time, and procrastination will continue to be a problem.

It’s also worth checking in with yourself on the following seven basics even if you’ve been writing for years. Sometimes it’s not the writing itself that’s holding us back and yet we project the problem onto our writing. More awareness of SOC might sort that out!

Here are the basics again. The way to apply time management tip number one to your writing life is to work through each of these and figure out if issues with any of them could be holding you back.

The basics are:

  1. Time to write
  2. A space to write in
  3. A writing habit
  4. A preferred way to write
  5. Something to write about
  6. Literary citizenship
  7. Writing support


If you’re interested in a deeper dive, here are some resources to help:


Remeber SOC stands for:

  • Space – where we do the thing often matters as much as when and for how long,
  • Other people – acknowledging that our lives overlap with those of others,
  • Context – social, political, cultural, plus our immediate environment.

Write down any problem you’ve got with organising yourself and your writing. Don’t simply think about it! Write it out. Now go through each of the above and make a note of any spaces, other people or wider contexts that come up. Are any of these an issue? Could you make a change, even a small one?

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Lou xx

P.S. For more value-led time management, check out the new edition of my book. Here’s the link again.

P.S.S. Here’s the next post in this series.

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