Finding Time to Write—One Thing That Actually Works

DSCN5673Idea entrepreneurs need to write. Writing is the most precise way to collect, incubate, test, and share ideas. The problem is finding time to write.

You can bore through the time management literature for suggestions. But I’ll save you some time. Here’s what actually works:

Stop doing other things that are less important than writing. Then schedule a regular time to write every day.

Hardly sexy advice. But then again, the useful stuff often isn’t.

Eric Barker—author of the blog Barking Up The Wrong Tree (“How to be awesome at life”)—expands on my suggestion in the following posts.

6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every DayApply some “80/20″ thinking: 1. What handful of activities are responsible for the disproportionate number of your successes? 2. What handful of activities absolutely crater your productivity? 3. Rearrange your schedule to do more of #1 and to eliminate #2 as much as possible.

Spend time wisely: How to focus on the things that matterPlan ahead and protect a period of time every day, probably in the morning, and use it to do the long term things that matter.

Here’s The Schedule Very Successful People Follow Every DayIn studies of geniuses, most did their best work early in the day…. Can’t do the work of your choice when the day starts? Get in early or work from home before you head into the office.

Chris Bailey echoes Barker’s posts and adds some juicy suggestions of his own in The top 10 lessons I learned from A Year of Productivity.

Also remember that you can ease into regular writing by making it a tiny habit.

This effort it worth it. As Ben Casnocha points out, regular writing is as essential as breathing if you value critical and creative thinking:

A lot of busy people say they wish they had more time to “think” — to be proactively thoughtful rather than reactive. But “thought time” is a hard thing to actually schedule, let alone measure. Writing, on the other hand, is something you can schedule to do and then evaluate and measure the output (e.g. 700 words a day or a blog post a week). When someone tells me they don’t do much writing anymore, I sometimes wonder, When do you think deep-ish thoughts? And how do you ever know how coherent your thoughts actually are?

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