Susan and I have been planning on writing an ebook for years but we never have been able to carve out the time! So, thankfully, our friend Angela has written an ebook about just that – writing an ebook! Brilliant.
Today she is here to teach us how she has learned to work smarter, not harder and to help us find the time to finally get that ebook written!
Work Smarter, Not Harder
I know how difficult it can be when you’re a many-hats kind of blogger, as most of us are. As a homeschooling mother of four, my time for working is extremely limited. Even so, I have successfully written several ebooks, including one that resulted in the addition of 5 figures to our family’s income last year. Here are some tips for maximizing your time when creating an ebook.
1. Work Smarter Means Planning Ahead
Plan your content ahead of time. You can use your research and writing time for dual purposes by working on your ebook in the same topic area you’re posting on your blog about. This way, you are not having to work twice to finish your writing. Everyone always says “work smarter, not harder,” and part of that means – gulp - planning ahead. Just a little. It won’t kill ya, I promise.
2. Work in the Snippets of Time
I keep my document open when I’m working on a big project like an ebook. I print out, or keep on notebook, the table of contents. Then, when I have 5 or 10 minutes, I WRITE. Hard core, no editing, nothing but writing. I write around 100 words in 5 minutes fairly easily if I don’t stop to self-edit what I’m doing. And, let me tell you, 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there can really add up at the end of the day.
3. Choose to Give Up Something Else
Is there a TV show you can give up during your project? Perhaps your kids can go to a friend’s house for a sleepover and you can take the extra day for writing instead of catching up on your favorite fiction novel writer. My kids go to the ranch with my in-laws house sometimes, and that is my day dedicated to writing. Even if I only get a few hours every month or two, it can make a huge difference.
4. Accountability is Key
One of the biggest things for me when it comes to making a project top priority is to build in accountability. In the case of my latest publication, 30 Days to Make and Sell a Fabulous Ebook, I actually began selling the title with a promised date of delivery while I was still finishing the manuscript. I already had my outline, plan of action and half the book finished. I knew what I was going to write about and knew I could finish it if I had to. I also knew that giving myself a built-in accountability factor would help me stay on target with my goals!
5. Delegate the Unnecessary
During this time of working on your project, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of someone else to delegate the unnecessary stuff. Only you can write your ebook, but your children can pitch in around the house, your husband can cook dinner one day that week or you can hire a house cleaner (or trade for it!) to free up an entire afternoon for you to work. Think about ways that you can delegate the things you don’t have to do so that you can focus on the thing that only you can do.
6. Take a Break – Use Your Timer
I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but when you work for more than an hour and a half, your productivity will decrease drastically. When I have some uninterrupted time to work, I can easily get so caught up in trying to get as much done as possible that I skip meals or don’t stretch, and I wind up with a migraine. So – set a timer for somewhere between 50-90 minutes, and whenever it goes off, stand up, stretch, get a drink, grab a snack and THEN head back to work.
7. Close Everything Until You Meet a Goal
Close hootsuite, shut off your email and Facebook, etc. Close all social media tabs until you meet a particular goal on your project. I always went by chapters. When I finished a chapter, I could go to my window where I had hootsuite and Facebook open to see what was going on, but not until then! This built-in motivation is really helpful for keeping me focused on that next, bite-sized goal of the chapter in front of me.