How organized are you?
My organizational skills have increased as I've got busier as a writer. For years, I read every book that was written about time managment, and even wrote one myself. All those tips and techniques built up my time management skills, so I'm happy with the amount of work I get done.
Here are my top five time management tips. I use them, they work. They may work for you too:
1. Use index cards. I've used them for years, and the Hipster PDA will get you started.
I have a set of cards in the largest size on which I write each project's name, the deadline, and the number of words. Each time I work on that project I write the date, the time, and the number of words competed.
I also have a cute Pocket Briefcase (from Levenger) which holds around ten small index cards. The PB goes with me everywhere.
2. Chunk your time. I chunk my time into half-hour blocks. I write down the time I started a project, and the number of words I wrote on the project's index card when I finish.
3. Learn and use a relaxation technique like autogenic relaxation, meditation, or self-hypnosis DAILY. Writing is stressful. If you're on deadline, use your relaxation technique several times a day until the work is complete -- your available time will seem to expand.
4. Find and use software programs to manage your research notes and other information. Since I use my Mac almost exclusively now, my favourite programs are Curio and Tinderbox. Both programs are elegantly simple and a pleasure to use.
5. Have fun every day. My favorite fun activities are reading and walking my dog. My fun times are non-negotiable.
What's fun for you? Schedule fun right into your day. Fun should include FUN PROJECTS -- writing projects you take on just because they're fun.