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The Organized Writers Playbook


Are you trying to get organized so you have more time to write?  Here are six rules guaranteed to make you more productive and more organized when you add them to your life.

1. Work with Yourself, Not Against Yourself

When you're trying to become more organized, it's tempting to try and fit into the existing organizing system of an "expert." They seem organized and they promise that if you try it, you'll be organized, too.

What's more effective is to understand your personality and what works for you. There are MANY solutions and you may have to experiment to find the system that best fits the way you work--your mind, your body and the way you think. And this might be a combination of ideas from many different experts.

Give something new a fair trial, but if after a month or so it feels awkward or counterintuitive, let it go and find something else!

2. Focus and Pay Attention

If you find that you always seem to be busy but that you never have anything to show for it, this could be the most important tip for you.

When possible, do one thing at a time. Don't let your mind or hands wander to another task. Picture the finished project in your mind, and focus only on that. Get in the "zone" – you're able to be so much more effective when you're giving your whole mind, thought and attention.

When we split our attention between different tasks ("multi-tasking"), most likely none of them will get done right, if at all. As well, you can find yourself in a perpetual state of having many "open projects" started but not completed. Each project moves forward just an inch at a time.

If you choose ONE, you can move it forward to completion much faster. To choose one, you need to estimate which project will give you the best results when it's finished. It sometimes takes an outside perspective and feedback to help you make that choice, and a coach is a great tool for this.

Putting aside other projects clears the clutter from your mind, attention, desk, workload and focus.

3. Invest Your Time

Just like we invest our money, we have to invest our time in the best way.  Setting up your new organizing systems can be considered an investment.

Applying this tip can have the greatest impact on your level of organization. By investing your time at the beginning of a project to examine how you can complete it most efficiently, you can save yourself a lot of frustration later. Saving just 20 minutes each day gives you an extra 120 hours each year.

For example, set-up a mailing station with all of the supplies you'll need to ship out book orders. You can also set-up a schedule of weekly errands such as the bank and the post office. If you know you'll be heading out to the post office on Wednesday, then when an order comes in on Friday you don't need to stop what you're doing and prepare that order immediately. You know you have a different time set aside for shipping.

As you work on bringing these three rules into your life, you’ll be amazed at how much more time and energy you have to pursue your writing and remember the number one rule – only use what works for YOU!

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