We’ve all got 24 hours in every day, but time trickles away from us in seconds and minutes. It’s a challenge to be more productive.
A writing student recently asked what she could do if she never had a whole hour to devote to her writing.
I could only tell her what I’d done when my children were small — and what many mothers do today — I got up at four in the morning to write. That’s not possible for everyone, and missing out on sleep isn’t healthy either.
You may not have a complete hour to write, but you do have minutes — when you’re waiting in the car for someone; or are in a meeting, waiting for it to start.
If you’re a self-publishing author, perhaps you’ve thought to yourself: “It’s not enough time” when you have just minutes to work on your current novel, or to market your books.
Maybe you have more time than you think.
Wish that you could be more productive? Discover the Two-Minute rule
Productivity guru David Allen developed the Two-Minute rule. He said: “if it takes less than two minutes, then do it now.”
You can use the two-minute rule for longer tasks too, because:
…once you start doing something, it is often easier to continue doing it than not to.
The Two-Minute rule can break our inertia. So, instead of thinking:
- Five minutes isn’t enough time to promote my book;
- What’s ten minutes? It’s not enough time to write a scene in my novel…
- Only half an hour? It’s not enough time to (fill in the blank)…
No more excuses: use your minutes
Let’s look at some ways you can use your precious minutes.
1. You can interview a character from your novel
From Penny’s article on writing a novel:
You write: “tell me about yourself.”
He tells you (you write):
“I live in a big house on the water. I have everything I ever wanted. I’m my own boss, I have a great business, with a great house, and an amazing car. But…” and so on, and so forth.
2. You can write a couple of sentences in your novel
You can open the computer file, right now, and write a couple of sentences. They don’t need to be wonderful sentences. Don’t read what you’ve written, just write the sentences.
(You may be surprised that you end up writing a lot more than two sentences.)
3. You can tweet, or pin, or post
Two minutes is enough time for many book marketing actives. Use an app to: follow someone on Facebook, tweet, pin on Pinterest.
Why not keep Two-Minute Lists of activities?
I have a Two-Minute Board on Trello. It’s stacked with “two-minute” activities. If you get creative you can think of short activities you can do anywhere.
As you can see from the image above, Trello helps you to get started with dozens of Inspiration Boards.
It’s fun to keep lists of ultra-short activities — try it.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.