The first book in the Productive Writer series, Time Management For Writers, launched this weekend and it’s been a blast seeing how much people are enjoying it.

I thought I’d share what made me decide to write this book and what the topic of time management means to me.

First, time management doesn’t mean squeezing even more into your already hectic life. That’s not my idea of what it means, anyway.

Who wants to be even busier?

Not me.

I already have plenty going on, and I’m sure you do too.

The problem is that, without direction, my time can be taken up on things that I’m not good at, not passionate about, and that aren’t in alignment with my goals.

That’s where time management comes in, in my opinion.

It’s about plotting a day-to-day existence, in much the same way as you’d plot a book. And the plot of that existence honours your highest goals, values and the life you want to live.

I shared recently in my Time Management group that I work best when I feel like an employee and how that’s a little awkward since I haven’t been employed since I was 21. That’s coming up for 14 years (ermagerd) of working for myself and tricking myself into feeling like an employee.

I’m a sucker for a to do list, a schedule and a plan.

A lot of people hear talk about that kind of structure and get a little scared, a little, erm diary-commitment phobic let’s say. They like the idea of their days being wild and free, their hair blowing out behind them as they race off into the sunset on their motorbike.

And then they get honest and realise they actually always have chicken for dinner on a Tuesday and they don’t like to miss an episode of Eastenders.

We’re all living routines.

Most of us have just fallen into those routines based on the examples of the people who raised us, or the expectations of our peer group, or the demands of Everyone.

(Danger, here comes Everyone! If you haven’t filled your day with your own priorities, they’ll fill it with theirs…)

For me, this book was a way of starting a conversation about a kinder way of time management. An ethos that allows you to do more, often by doing less.

I felt called to write this book some time ago, after years of obsessively tweaking my own schedule and productivity and geeking out over time management books that were all valuable, but often designed for the high-flying executive.

It was going to be a someday book.

I mean, I was already busy with one fiction pen name and plans to launch a second.

Then I was asked by Craig Martelle to speak on a panel at 20 Books Edinburgh in the summer of 2019, on the topic of juggling writing with a day job. I said yes, because I say yes to things that terrify me, and it was an incredible experience. Speaking with the wise women who are Martha Carr and Lyz Kelley, we received really thoughtful questions and it was clear that a lot of people wanted help around this area.

That was enough to move the book from the someday list to the 2019 list.

It was a lot of fun to write (which clears up any doubt over whether I’m a geek or not, I guess) and the reviews are so positive.

It also feels like it contains around 10% of what I could say on this topic, so I’ll be blogging to get the rest of the information out of my head!

If you’ve bought a copy, read it on KU, left a review, shared the launch or cheered me on in any way – thank you. You’re amazing.

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