I recently picked up a copy of Bob Bly’s excellent ‘Super Productivity for Writers’ e-book and wanted to share with you some of his gems.
Here’s his seven common time wasters that he says writers (and I say everybody) should avoid:
- Excessive blogging (more than 10 minutes per day) – unless that’s your job, of course!
- Random web surfing (continuing to surf after you’ve found the information you need)
- Attending meetings of writers groups, marketing clubs, etc. You can learn and network, but you lose half a day
- Social or business lunches with other writers, editors, publishers, clients. A waste of time and you can lose nearly half a day
- Volunteering for committees and similar activities. Every hour you spend on administrative nonsense is an hour you don’t write
- Sending or receiving jokes, photos, videos and other junk content via email (or my pet hate – Facebook requests to add time-sucking applications or join groups of no interest to me). Stop wasting other people’s time and yours
- Letting a ringing phone interrupt your writing. Get caller ID and call them back when you have finished (or better yet, set the phone’s ringing tone volume to ‘silent’ and get an answer machine to take the call for you)
Even though Bob is focusing his material on writers, of which he is a superb one, the advice found on page 22 of his book applies to all of us methinks.
As he points out on page 21,
With an average lifespan of seventy-five years, we have only 27,375 days from the time we are born until the time we die. And since we’re asleep for a third of that time, we have only 18,250 days we’re actually awake and active.
How you spend this finite amount of time is mostly up to you. To maximise your productivity, income and output as a writer, writing must be a priority.
If you prefer to garden, that’s perfectly fine; but don’t complain that your colleague who spends those hours in front of the pc is getting more work done than you are. It’s your choice.
Wise words, indeed. Be careful out there…
I love Bob’s material – as I write I have 26 of his publications, each a worthy addition to my knowledge library.