Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Time Management Tuesday: Some Help From Academic Writing

The first article I read on Time Management back in 2012 was also the first time I saw material on what I call the unit system, managing time by breaking it into small units. Ellen Sussman was the author, and she referred to research done by Dorothy Duff Brown on using time while writing a graduate thesis. So you can understand why I stopped to look at Time Management for Writing  by Jan Allen at Graduate Mentor. Allen makes several points that could help all writers. A couple of them that we may not have addressed here:
  • Create a checklist of  the steps you need to complete. Allen also suggests determining how much time you need for each step and creating a schedule. According to my varied reading, I suspect self-published writers who publish several books a year may do this. Plotting writers often commit time, sometimes months, even, to creating a plot before they start writing, which would certainly be the first item on their list. This organic writer has started doing formal character and setting development and scene lists before beginning to write a piece of fiction, simply to try to get at a real story idea. What does this have to do with managing writing time? The more you know about what you're going to write, the faster you can write. That's doing more with the time you have.
  • Manage procrastination by having multiple projects you can work on. For traditional writers, this could simply mean really having more than one piece of writing you can shift back and forth between so you're managing to work on one writing goal or another. But this could also mean having multiple tasks within one project. For instance, if you have a scene list and you're procrastinating on working on the one that's next chronologically, you can jump ahead and work on another one. You are continuing to make some kind of progress toward goal. You are managing to keep your head in your project.
I'll take a look at more of what Allen suggests to graduate students to see if there's more help the academic world can offer us.

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