10 Tips for Meeting Your Deadline without Losing Your Mind
by: Stacy Verdick Case
1) Set aside a dedicated block of time. For me it’s a half an hour in the morning. I wake up before everyone else so I can fit in writing.
2) DVR your favorite shows. In a one-hour program, there are 20 or more minutes of commercials. That time could be better spent writing.
3) Take a notebook and the last page you wrote with you wherever you go. How many times have you been trapped in a waiting room because a doctor was running late? Either you can flick through old copies of House Beautiful or you can reclaim that time for your writing. Having the page you left off on helps remind you where to begin. Even 5 minutes here and there can product results.
4) If you have another job other than writing, write through your lunches and breaks. Yes, everyone will think your anti-social but it’s for the greater good. I’ve been known to sit in my care and work because it’s the only place I won’t be interrupted.
5) Take frequent breaks. This sounds counterintuitive but if you don’t take breaks, your body and mind will become fatigued and then you’re not doing anyone any good.
6) Practice this phrase, “I’d love to help with (fill in the blank), but I can’t right now because I have to finish this project.” We tend to be over committed people and I think it’s because we don’t know how to say no politely.
7) Calculate how many pages per day you need to reach your goal. Then you’ll know if you’re ahead of schedule or if you’re behind schedule and need to step on the gas. Too many times people don’t realize what it takes to make their goal and end up scrambling at the last minute.
8) Turn off your internet connection. The internet is a huge time suck. The less tempted you are to surf the more focused you’ll be on your goal.
9) Enlist the help of others. If you’re able to afford it hire a sitter for a few hours near you deadline or enlist the help of friends and family to watch the kids. Let them know that after your deadline you’ll be happy to repay the favor!
10) Forget the housework. This one is painful for some but I will admit that if you come to my house when I’m near a deadline, chaos is the order of the day. The inmates have run amok and I don’t care. You can always hose down the house after your deadline has passed.
Not all of these tips will apply to everyone. Take the ones you need and leave the rest. At the very lease be honest with yourself about where you might be wasting time and where you could fit some writing in to meet your deadline, be it conference, contest or publication. I wish you all success and joy in your writing!
Stacy Verdick Case is the author of the Catherine O’Brien mystery series. Her latest A Luring Murder is available now as an Audiobook download.
Genre – Mystery
Rating – PG13