how to schedule time for an imaginative process, rather than an exact task

how to schedule time for an imaginative process, rather than an exact task

reader comments (18)

  1. i agree with you stefanie. it is easy to assign ‘just-about-enough’ time to writing. whereas, in practice it never meets that timeline. i am also trying few strategies to improve my writing schedule and complete my work in the assigned hours. keeping my focus on the task on-hand has helped me improve and stick to my creative time. though, it is still work in progress…

    thanks for sharing what’s working for you. all the best!

  2. glad to see i’m not alone in under-planning my writing sessions!
    do you think doubling the amount of time you schedule to write will make you give you more time to wander down different paths (ala parkinson’s law)?

    • that’s a great question, morgan!

      i’ve been thinking about that … “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

      with my case, i think there’s a middle ground. what i didn’t mention in the post is that doubling my large chunks of writing time likely won’t look like 5-to-8-hour writing sessions. giving yourself that much time to write will likely lead to procrastination or wandering down rabbit holes, as you mentioned. i’m thinking more like 3-hour draft-completion sessions, rather than 1.5 hours.

      i want to recognize that i haven’t accurately gauged how long it actually takes me to finish. it seems “easy” and “won’t take that long,” but it actually does.

      we’ll see how it goes! maybe i’ll write a follow-up article in a couple months. 🙂

  3. i struggle with a similar problem, scheduling enough time for a task. it always takes longer than i expected or something else comes up that takes priority. i’m trying to plan my days in more detail and be more conscious of my time.

  4. i grapple with similar issues almost daily. and until now i hadn’t stopped to analyze the cause. thanks for shedding light on these scheduling issues stephanie!

  5. i agree that scheduling enough time to research and write is a constant struggle. i have a bad habit of finding an interesting idea for a different article while doing research on an unfinished piece of content and going off in the wrong direction on that idea instead of finishing. i am trying to curb that habit by taking the time to stop and organize for future writing by making a copy of what i found, giving it its own labeled manila folder in case i find more information on the subject, and putting it on my list of future articles according to the category i think it will fit into and then go directly back to the content i was working on originally. this keeps me from “losing” the idea or wondering where i found the material i was intrigued by. i review my future article list every time i finish a blog or article and try to choose a timely topic.

    • that’s good time management! we have to find that balance where we give a new idea enough attention so that we have something to come back to later without taking too much energy away from our current project.

  6. hi stefanie, here a comment from holland. i recognize your problem. but i tackled it succesfully (o, sorry when i make mistakes in my english writing, i’m just a dutch girl ;-)). anyway, i always mention my research when i have my first meeting with my new client. i tell them that writing only is not what takes the most of time, but the briefing, the reading and the research do. i explain that i my writings are not just fun (they are), but also have high value for their products.
    hope you know what i mean.
    bye bye,
    marion

  7. i have to factor in that i will get distracted. i am not a robot. i’ll have social media, blogs that aren’t relevant to what i’m doing but catch my interest, email, online shopping, personal things, etc. i have to factor in time for that. i can’t just go tast a, task b, task c. some people can but i need rest periods between them.

    • this makes quite a bit of sense! i’m in a very similar space, setting aside the time than blatantly ignoring it. i think breaking it down into smaller bites would work better than the chunks i’m trying to dedicate now.

      i’m curious to see how the time increase will affect your flow. keep us posted!

      • i mean to post my previous comment as a general reply 🙂 i’m with you rachael, for what it’s worth, as nice as it would be to be a robot, i’m not. giving into my whims has led to some of my best creative work.

  8. really helpful article, stefanie! thanks for that!

    i am actually going to run a bit of a trial run with this idea. i tend to just sit down and write an article in one sitting, but then, obviously, distractions and other ideas get in the way and keep disturbing my flow. this is definitely an idea i’m keen to try and implement if it’s going to increase my own efficiency.

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