For self publishers this even more true–not only are we constantly writing but we’re on Twitter or Facebook or Goodreads connecting with readers and promoting our books.
I’ve been doing a lot of productivity research lately, mostly listening to podcasts because I can do that while cleaning or folding laundry. I’ve learned a lot, particularly that an author is only as good as her tools!
Using software like Scrivener or Hootsuite can really help with writing and managing social media but only if you use them! Unfortunately using them is the hard part. I’ve tried a lot of to-do list software while excellent and somewhat fun to use, they didn’t work for me.
‘Write Book’ was way too big of an item for me (even when broken down into word count goals) because it was mixed in with the laundry, dinner and helping my kids with their homework.
Enter the Progress Tracker
I found something that works better: The Task Progress Tracker.
This is basically a worksheet created by David Seah that breaks a big job down into small pieces and then lets you track your time spent on each project. When you’ve completed a project, you’ll also know how much time you spent on it which helps you plan better for the future–so double bonus there!
Here’s how I use it:
1. Print out a worksheet and staple it to a folder. I keep all associated materials to the project in the folder.
2. Then I take my book outline and transfer each chapter to a line. Alternatively, you could use this to track how much time you are spending on Social Media or book promotion. Showing up on Twitter and Facebook is half the battle!
3. Use Online Stopwatch to time 15 minute increments of work on a project. (You can do anything for 15 minutes!)
Not only does this make me a better planner, on days when my only option is to grab 15 minutes, I get the stuff that needs doing done.
Do you have any productivity tools that help you to focus?