• Margaret McGriff

3 Time Management Mindset Tricks for Writers

Let’s talk about something we writers really struggle with all – managing our time.


How do we make more time to write?

How do we make more time to market?

How can we write our books and work a job?

How can we market our books and take care of kids?

Time management is such a big topic in our writer community.


No matter what stage you’re at in your writer business time is always going to be something you may struggle with.

But before we get into the strategies, tactics, apps, and calendars, we really need to address our mindset. What we tell ourselves is so powerful. It influences everything we do and how we approach our work.

So let’s tackle those three common things we tell ourselves around the topic of time. Then we can shift our perspective and really focus on what we can do to solve our problem

1. I Just Don't Have Time


I don't have time to market. I don't have time to be on Instagram. I don't have time to be on Facebook. I don't have time to start a writer’s group, take a class, or just read a book.

Trust me, I say that a lot! I work a full-time job, I'm a single mom to two adorable and very exhausting little girls, I have my YA fantasy novels, and my work here at the Content Creative. So sometimes when I have an idea or presented with a project, the very first thing I'll say to myself is I just don't have time.

But then I stop myself and I’ll say instead, “How can I make time?”

Let's figure out how you can make more time to write. Maybe you can get up an hour earlier. Maybe you can use your lunch break to write. I do that all the time. Instead of watching Netflix before you go to bed, e you can take those last 15 minutes to get some writing done.

Are you looking to do bigger marketing tasks like starting a YouTube channel, podcast, or blog?

You may not be able to do it right this second, but you can make time for it later. You can say that in the next two weeks, you’re going to dedicate one day to just working on this YouTube channel. You can block out one weekend a month to plotting out your next story. So instead of saying, you don't have the time, you can tell yourself you will make the time, just not right now.

2. This Will Take Just Too Much Time

I remember sitting down with my business coach and when she suggested I do a podcast, I told her flat out I have no time in my life to do a podcast. And of course, she wasn't taking that excuse for me whatsoever!

Instead, we broke down this podcast idea. I took a look at all the steps that we needed to do in order to launch it. Then I looked at my schedule and made time for each of these tasks so I can make this podcast happen.

So if you find yourself saying a book, a blog, a street team, or an email freebie will take just too much time – switch it around.

How can I break this thing down into smaller tasks so I can make it happen?

When it comes to something that you want to accomplish and you feel like it'll take too much time, write out all the steps you need to take to make this idea, project, or marketing strategy work. When we break it down into small steps instead of one big thing, this idea suddenly becomes more doable.


Take 15 to 20 minutes each day to do one of those smaller tasks. Don't underestimate small pockets of time. Those little things add up to accomplishing that one big thing. It may not happen as quickly as you would it to but at least it happens!

3. But I Have to ______


I have to write every day. I have to be on Instagram five times a day. I have to write an email to my list every single day.

So many of the expectations we set upon ourselves aren't based on any real type of reality that works for us. Letting go of those expectations that you feel like you have to do the exact same things that everybody else is doing will totally free your brain up to say, let's create a schedule that works for me.

I find that the people who are really successful in their writing careers have found a way to marry what they like to do with what will push their businesses forward. There are some writers who are making a fulltime living and don't even have an Instagram account.

There are some authors that just take one day writer a couple of thousand words, and won't write a thing for the rest of the week. There are others who feel like they do have to write every day because they need that discipline of writing every day. As you can see, there's no right or wrong way to get to the end of your novel.

Part of the marketing equation is doing what works for you as the individual. The only way your book marketing is going to work is if you are consistent with it. In order to be consistent, it has to be something that you like doing, right?

Don’t think you have to do all of these things. All you’re doing is spinning your wheels and overwhelming yourself. Just let that go. You only have to do what works for you.

I hope this was helpful in getting those things that we tell ourselves about our time out of her heads and what to say to ourselves instead. If your head isn’t in the right place, there’s no amount of time management tips, strategies, or apps that can deliver the results you’re looking for!

Your turn! What’s one mindset shift you can make today to help you manage your time better as a writer?




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© 2019 by Margaret McGriff