How I Use Timesheets to Be a Productive Writer

How I Use Timesheets to Be a Productive Writer

Being a productive writer is essential. It’s so easy to get lost in blog posts and writing, but that would mean I couldn’t get enough done. My whole writing schedule would be for nothing!

After working in admin roles over the years, I’ve found timesheets really useful to be a productive writer. I use them a lot now to make sure my rate per hour is just what I need.

How do I do it? Here are my tips to help you become a more productive writer and succeed in blogging.

When You Start and Finish

I don’t use any special software. MS Excel is enough for me.

All I do is keep a track of when I start writing and when I finish. I’ll track in time that I take off for lunch and any time that I spend messing around online or with phone calls.

be a productive writerEvery little thing is documented during my working hours to make sure I spend the time as productively as possible.

I’ll do it by the minute and then work out how long I’ve spent per client and overall throughout the day. Then I can divide the amount I’ve made through clients, residual that day etc. and check the rate per hour.

Don’t Get Too Bogged Down

Don’t worry too much about getting this timesheet right. Just quickly pop in what you’re working on and the start and finish time, and you’re good to go.

You don’t need to work out the average rate per hour if you don’t want. I do it because I like to make sure I’m on track for my writing goals, but I do this for a living. Not everyone does.

The aim is to help you remain focused on tasks at hand.

Note Down Procrastination Timings

Don’t forget about the time that you spend doing other stuff. I’ll have a column for Facebook and other social media sites, for Skyping with clients, or for chatting on Whatsapp! I have it for everything that I do to make sure I spend most of my time writing.

It’s easy to find yourself going off track. You’ll need to keep a timesheet for during your articles of when you stop researching and start procrastinating.

I’ve found that because I time how long it takes me to write, I manage to avoid procrastinating. If I find something else interesting, I’ll finish the piece and then go back to look. This keeps my mind on the writing task at hand and gives me something to look forward to when I’m stuck on articles that I’m not that interested in.

Make Yourself Accountable

I know some writers who need to keep themselves accountable to others. They opt for the timesheet but a little differently.

Instead of doing it through Excel, they’ll put it on social media. They’ll say the time they started writing and the time they stopped. This is great when they have a lot to get through but don’t really want to work.

It’s fun if you can get other writers to do the same. Ask them to set themselves goals for writing one day or do time trials with each other.

Of course, quality has to come first. Once you’re done writing, you’ll need to edit to ensure your writing is perfect.

Now it’s time for you to be a productive writer. Can you use timesheets to help track how long you spend on pieces? Have you found another way to help you? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

6 thoughts on “How I Use Timesheets to Be a Productive Writer

  1. I think I’d worry that I’d spend too much time writing down times. My husband has always tried to encourage me to have more of an idea of how long a particular task will take but for some reason it scares me. Can’t commit I suppose. Thanks for the ideas though. I would find an app easier than Excel. Do you know of one?

    1. I don’t tend to use many apps, because I find Excel so easy to use. You really don’t spend that much time on the times. Once the table is set up, you can quickly check the clock, write the time,and move on.

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