The six step plan to getting yourself orgainised
(with free worksheets)
Succeeding in the self-publishing world seems to be all about organisation. I’m not that good and have tried my hardest to make myself better. Usually, the everyday writer has to not only fit in writing between their day job and life schedule, but also marketing, designing, networking, editing, online publishing, blogging and for some of you, plotting. That’s a lot of ‘ing‘ words. Well, here’s another one for you: overwhelming. It’s enough to make your head spin.
But – fear not! I’m going to use this post to pass on the special tips I’ve gathered along the way that help me make the most of my time. For those of you struggling to see the light through the trees, try this 6 step ‘ing’ plan to getting yourself organised.
– The first thing you need to do is to work out how much free time you have.
– Use this free printable month-at-a-glance calendar, or this daily action planner to plot out the times you are busy, and the times you are free. Highlight the times you are free, and how many hours you have to spare. You need to include everything you do, from eating breakfast, to watching TV, to getting the kids to school. I’ve actually bought a day to a page diary, but also use my month-at-a-glance printables to give myself an overall view for planning.
– You don’t have to keep up this level of planning, it’s just a good way to work out your over all routine availability and whether something’s gotta give.
– Fill out your brain dump worksheet with all the things you need to do.
– Then rank them from the most important to the least important.
– Work out how many hours a week you need to be spending on these. Don’t fill them into your calendar yet.
– From these items, write out some SMART goals (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Result-focused, Timely). For example: I want to write my first draft of a 60,000 novel by February 2016. For this goal, you’d be focusing on word count to measure your success by the time frame specified.
– Do you have a publishing schedule? If not, write a dream one and a conservative one for the following 12 months. Here is author, Elle Casey’s, publishing schedule. She writes super fast, so don’t feel like you have to do what she does, but it can help you aspire to do more.
– Give yourself deadlines for each project.
– Work out when and what you need done by certain times of the year.
– Include things like: word count goals, plotting, writing first draft, editing, beta readers/feedback, and final edit.
– Based on your writing schedule, work out when you need things like: cover design, formatting, interior book design etc done by.
– Work backwards from your deadline and try to give each task an hourly time frame.
– Based on your publishing schedule, work out when you need to start promoting your new book and for how long.
– Do you need to include advertising, blog tours, blog posts, social media blasts etc?
– Have a look at how many hours a week you have free versus how many you need to satisfy your goals.
– Do you have to wake up early a few days a week to meet your goals? Or can you sacrifice your TV show for the month? Do your original priorities still fit?
– Look over your notes and highlight your deadlines, ideal schedules and word count goals.
– Fill in your time into your calendar, even if you break it down to: Get up at 5am, get 2000 words written by 7am. Go to work. After kids go to bed, do some editing for one hour followed by marketing.
– It’s up to you how specific you want to get, but don’t forget your SMART goals. Maybe even write them on a sticky note, and place them around the house to remind yourself of your deadlines.
– Don’t forget the most important ‘ing’ word of all: Forgiving. If life gets in the way, adjust accordingly.
There you go, a 6 step plan to organising yourself for self-publishing. If you liked these printables, I’ve created a whole lot of them at my etsy store. You can visit it here.