Do you want to make the most of your week? The best way is to get ahead of yourself and get planning. If you prepare and set yourself up for success, you have a far better chance of getting those pesky words written on the page!
Prepare before your week begins.
For example, if you begin your week on a Monday, get ready on a Sunday. Heading into the week with an action plan is the best way to face it – otherwise, time can really drift away!
De-clutter your writing area.
Whether it’s a desk, the area around your favourite chair, or nestled against a bookcase – clear the space the day before you intend to begin. Sitting down in a tidy area to write will mean that you can give all your attention to your work, and none of it to the demands of the space.
Set your word count – and stick to it.
Setting a word count is a really effective way of getting as much written as possible, but make sure you keep it realistic and don’t set yourself up to fail. For example, if you set 10,000 words but know that you have an extra busy week coming up, lessen it to something you know you can achieve.
On a normal week, I set myself the challenge of 4,000 words. I know that I can fit this around my work schedule, and sometimes I’ll even write a few hundred words over.
Look at the week ahead and plan out your spare time. What space do you have available for writing?
How much can you write in an hour? What’s realistic?
Set reminders on your phone.
Once you know where you have spare time coming up in the week ahead and you’ve set your word count, divide the word count by the time you have and set reminders. You may set a reminder to write 500 words on a Tuesday evening, for example, which you estimate will take you thirty minutes.
Get your rewards ready.
Having rewards already set up will drive you to get that writing done! Rewards are a big part of creating a habit and help drive you to take action. You’re more likely to get a word count completed if you know a reward is waiting for you. Your reward doesn’t have to be flashy, high in sugar or expensive. It can be half an hour alone to read your favourite book or a new candle. Whatever is special and important to you!
Talk to people about your plans.
Whether you live with someone or not, tell a person close to you about your writing plans for the week. Ask them to hold you accountable. Studies show that people have more goal commitment if they tell others about their goals!
Ask a friend to help you achieve your word count by asking how it’s going. You could even promise to tell your writing friends on Instagram and hold yourself accountable that way.
Sit back for a moment and imagine how awesome you will feel by the end of the week if you’ve achieved your writing goals. Visualisation of achieving and satisfaction is another big part of forming a habit!
Set your expectations with those around you.
If you require half an hour to yourself on a Tuesday night, make sure that everyone around you is aware of it. Tell them that you would like to be left alone to work during that time, and set your expectations ahead of time. That way, everyone knows where they stand, what the goal is, and you’re more likely to get that time alone.
Research ahead of time.
Research time can take away from writing time, and it’s so easy to get into a rabbit hole of research and waste that time you had put aside for writing. Spend some time thinking about what you would like to write about during the designated period – what’s the chapter going to be about?
Will you need to do any research ahead of time? How can you best prepare to get the words written?
Be kind to yourself.
Remember – if you don’t get the goal achieved, it’s okay – life really does happen.
There’s a fine line between making yourself write and giving yourself a hard time for not writing – if your plans go totally array, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make a plan for the next week with gusto.