I’ve been trying to find time to write two series of novels. Insanity, I know, especially since I need to carve out time for my fiction from everything else I have going on.
I love this article, 30 Ways to Save 1 Minute Per Day, especially this:
“Set up a recurring task list. Certainly there are tasks that are part of your daily and weekly routines. Use an app like 30/30 by Binary Hammer (iOS only) or something similar to create a recurring task list for such items so that you can get moving on them without delay.”
Unfortunately a recurring task list doesn’t work for me unless it’s in my calendar; my exercise time, regular meetings, and various daily and weekly chores are blocked out in my calendar. So are my daily writing times.
If I’m serious about something; I block out time on my calendar.
Years ago, before I returned to Macs, I used Time and Chaos, as my favorite calendar. I have fond memories of it. Nowadays I use Calendar on my Mac.
Dictate to save time
Here’s my biggest time-saving tip: I dictate as much as I can. Anything short, which takes fewer than five minutes, I write. Anything longer, I dictate, after I’ve created a mind map.
While this works for nonfiction, fiction is different. I’ve no idea why, but I can’t type or dictate first drafts in fiction. I hand-write the material, then I transcribe it by dictating it into Scrivener.
Make time for what you really want to do
All the time-saving strategies in the world are meaningless, if you’re not sure why you’re saving time.
What do you want to do with the time you’ve saved? Do you want to spend more time with your family, exercise, spend more time on a hobby?
Once you know why you want to save time, you’ll become much more dedicated to being productive, and to saving as much time as you can.
For example, one of my friends talked about starting his own business for years. He always said he’d do it when he had more time. Then his father died. He decided there and then that he would make time for what he REALLY wanted to do. He started his own business a year later.
What do you REALLy want to do? Once you know that, you’ll be able to make time to fit it in.