How to Make the Most of Your Writing Time: #2 Prioritize


Once you have your projects categorized, end each day by making a list of your priorities for the next day. Don’t go to bed without your list. Make sure you know which projects you’ll do first, where you’ll work on them, and when.

Your list of priorities should have a mix of your various task categories so that you’re building community, publishing widely, and sending queries to magazines that will pay what you need to make. As you list each item by sure to note which need immediate attention and which can wait if necessary.

I typically prioritize my list of tasks according to the following categories:

  • Time-Sensitive: These are projects that have a set deadline and require immediate attention in order to organize, write, and edit them. Depending on where I’m at in the process, I may have time-sensitive articles, blog posts for others, and book proposals.
  • Important, but No Rush: These are projects that may be very important for a variety of reasons (from pay to building community), but can be delayed if necessary. If I’m planning on future articles, posts for others, or proposals, they should not throw time-sensitive projects off schedule. In addition, posts for my personal blogs and my own e-mail newsletter can afford to be a day or two late.
  • Good and Helpful, but Not Critical: I don’t want to say that social media, e-mail, or reading books, blogs, and articles isn’t important, because each has an important place for writers. However, they are generally not critical in the daily grind of writing and submitting work. They can be put off until the evening, weekend, or a slow afternoon rather than times of peak productivity.