Wednesday, April 27, 2016

You, Too, Can Be An Organized Writer by Edwina Cowgill

Edwina Cowgill
Productivity means organization, and organization comes when we ... well, let Edwina Cowgill give you a few tips to help you makes the most of your daily tasks. -- Sandy

Edwina: I’ve always said I inherited my organizational skills from my dad. But that’s not really true. Organizational skills are not inherited. They can be learned and implemented in every area of our life – even, and most importantly, in our writing.

I am convinced that the more organized we are, the more productive we are. And the more productive we are, the more time for our family. I’m sure I’m “preaching to the choir” (hmmm, that’s one of those pesky clich├ęs) but it never hurts to be reminded of a few organizational techniques. Perhaps if you are one of those people who think you can never be organized, maybe these simple suggestions will be a starting point for you.

  1. The Clean Machine: Before you do any writing, make sure the area where you write is empty of everything, except what you need in order to write. I can hear some of you hysterically laughing now! It’s really quite simple. Assign a place for everything that is currently on your desk. Make files for all of the different topics and file the related paperwork. Anything else on your desk that will distract you: hide it. When you sit down at your desk, you want to be able to totally focus on nothing but your writing.

  2. Schedule your writing time! We’ve all heard this before, but it bears repeating: Schedule your writing time. Whatever time of the day that works best for you that’s when you need to write. Put it on your calendar, in your iPhone, whatever you use. Be sure to write it on the family calendar. Doing that allows everyone in the family to know that those days/times are your sacred writing time.
  3. Lists, lists and more lists! My family says that I have so many lists, that I have to have a list of all the lists I have! I’m not quite that bad, but I am a firm believer in lists. One of the best tools of organization is what I’ve termed the “roll-over list.” No matter where you work, this list is a lifesaver! At the end of the day, make a list of everything that you need to accomplish the following day. Be sure you “roll-over” what you didn’t finish that day to the next day.
  4. Who’s on First? Once you have your list(s) made, look them over and decide what items are priorities and which ones can rollover to another day. Don’t take those items off of today's list because you want them there as a reminder; just realize that you probably won’t get to them the next day. Number the items in order of priority. You don’t have to rewrite the list, unless you’re a perfectionist, like yours truly. Just put a number beside each item and you’re ready for tomorrow. This system also works well at home!
  5. Your Best Friend There are many more organization tips but here’s one of my favorite: when crunch time comes, and it will, be sure you have the Colonel’s phone number on speed dial!

Do you have something to add to this list? What is your best tip for organizing your day?

About the Author

Edwina has been writing since her teenage years, but began seriously pursuing her writing career in 2008. She has written 600+ blogs for her blog site: She has had a number of articles published in various media outlets and websites and three short stories that were included in anthologies published in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. She is currently working on her memoir that will be published later this year.