So you've figured out where you are going to write. You've decided between a separate office and a laptop in the living room. You've decided whether to write in public or private.
And you're all set to get started.
Or are you?
Well not quite. You see having a set place to write is important. But doing your writing at a set time is equally if not more important. It's repetition that creates a habit after all. And if you want repetition you need to pick a time that you will write without having to break your habit before it begins.
Here are 4 personal questions you need to ask before you schedule your writing time.
1. When are you at your best?
Some people are morning people. Some people are night owls. And many fit in between. We're all victims of our circadian rhythms. There's no point in fighting it. So work with it. Are you a morning person? Do you wake up clear headed and ready to take on the world? Then you want to write first thing in the morning. Do you come in to your own after the world is asleep? Then you want to schedule your writing after everyone else is in bed.
2. When do most of your interruptions occur?
Interruptions are the destroyers of concentration and of writing habits. Avoid them like the plague. In fact, you need to identify what your major interruptions are to avoid them. So if people phone you at 9:30 regularly to talk, don't schedule your writing for 9:15. If your neighbor likes to play loud music at 2:00 pm every day then don't schedule your writing at 2:00. Pick a time when the people around you will leave you alone.
3. Do you have regular routines that need to be met?
Do you pick up your child from school at 3:30 every day? Do you drop your child off at daycare for 9:00 every morning? There's no point in scheduling your writing for a point where you know you are going to be interrupted. Schedule your writing time so that you will get all of your time in. And even better, schedule your writing time so that you have a period after your writing in case you are on a roll or you aren't ready to finish.
4. How long can you write at a stretch?
Most people can only write for a limited amount of time and words. Once they have finished that time or words their output drops considerably. Bluntly they're just too tired to continue. The point of a habit is to succeed and by regularly succeeding to force you to adopt successful modes of operating. Setting yourself up to fail doesn't accomplish that particularly well. So only schedule the time you feel that you can write without burning out.
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Glen Ford is an accomplished consultant, trainer and writer. He has far too many years experience as a trainer and facilitator to willingly admit.