Three years ago, I shared with you My #1 Writing Tip for the Times You are Stuck to help you when you don’t know where your story is going and what your characters should be doing; today, I have for you another #1 tip, this time on how to stay on track with your writing and with other areas of your life. It’s quite simple: in the evening, write down a list of all of your tasks for the next day and in the next morning (while having breakfast, for example), review the list.
Also, use different colors of pens and highlighters to mark the type and urgency of each task.
For example, “Brainstorm writing tips” could be written in a light blue pen to indicate that it relates to blogging and underlined with a green highlighter to indicate that it’s not urgent while “A new chapter” in orange pen and underlined in red could indicate that the chapter is for Wattpad (thus the orange) and that you have reached the deadline for it (thus red to mark it as urgent).
You could also underline something with yellow to mark an approaching deadline.
As for what color to use for each task (writing, reading, personal, etc.) – it depends entirely on you. The colors I use for updates are similar to the colors of the site I’m uploading on (light orange for Wattpad, dark orange for Patreon and light blue for my blog as I use a bluish green color for the links) and dark blue (which is the standard writing color in my country; I know in other places it’s black) for things like “check email”, “go to the post office” and “dentist appointment”.
Before we part for today, here are two things that relate to this tip:
- Make sure the list isn’t the last thing you do before you go to bed, because then your mind will be on tomorrow’s tasks and it will be harder for you to relax and fall asleep.
- Instead of doing this in the evenings, you could keep a notepad with you and jot down tasks as you go about your day or simply use one of those memo/notes apps for your phone.
Lastly, I’ve already talked about creating task lists in my Tuesday Tiny Writing Tips series (click here for a list with all one hundred tips, sorted by topic), but back then I told you to concentrate on three tasks and how that could help your productivity. If you are interested in that one, it’s Tip #44.
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