Episode #38: Manage Your Space, Time, Energy and Attention
To be a more successful writer, you’re probably going to have to be a more productive writer. To be more productive, it’s best to learn to manage several things, including the space in which you work, the time you have to work, your energy levels, and your attention, or focus, on any given thing.
I’m going to introduce them in today’s episode and dive more deeply into them in successive episodes.
Today, I want you to begin doing an evaluation or inventory of each of these four areas of your writing life:
- Energy levels
- Attention, or focus
Pull out your favorite way to take notes, whether it’s in Evernote or on a piece of paper, and start making lists.
First, look at your space. If it’s a mobile office, do you have what you need in the bag you carry with you to the coffee shop or library? If you have dedicated office space, take a look around. What’s missing, what’s working, what needs to change? Make it a priority to create the kind of space you need, to be a productive writer who gets the work done.
To better manage your time, you’ll want to do a time inventory. We’ll talk about this in more detail later, but the more information you have, the better. You can use a lot of different tools. The simplest is to use a notebook and pen, and write down start and stop times for various tasks. By doing this, you begin to see the time truly available to you as a writer.
Next is energy levels. Start now tracking energy levels to help determine how to organize your day to take advantage of peak energy. You probably already know whether you’re a morning person or evening person, but if you start tracking it, you may find opportunities you might not have realized were there.
There has been a lot of talk about maximizing focus. Minimizing distractions maximizes focus, and that’s how we gain productivity, they claim. We’re going to evaluate what distracts us and see whether or not managing our attention makes a difference in our productivity.
If we focus on these four areas, I’m convinced we can increase productivity as writers, even if we’re working with limited space, limited time, limited energy, and limited focus.
Do what you can in the days ahead to take stock.
Gather up your materials. Take good notes. And tune in next week.
Listen for the full podcast.
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Image by Ann Kroeker, using photo by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography, free of copyright restrictions.
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