EMEPiper Ep 9: Prioritization with Simple Lists or Using a Matrix

Piper's Prioritization Matrix

There are times when I’ve got so much to do, I’ve got no idea where to start or what the prioritization is. It’s just an overwhelming mess of things that need to be done. I’m frozen in analysis paralysis and stressed out.

It’s time to take a deep breath and apply what I know of prioritization to the chaos of all the tasks piled up in front of me. Sometimes, my approach can be straightforward and simple. Other times, I need to apply my flexible approach to evaluating and organizing my tasks in a matrix to easily decide what to work on next.

Highlights

  • Where’s Piper? In her home office!
  • When you need to prioritize your tasks
  • How to prioritize: Simple Approach
  • Matrix Approach
  • OMG something else hit my To Do list!

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.
Check out this episode!

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Focus on Writing in 2017

Piper Surviving Deadlines by Focus on WritingI made a careful decision to have a stronger focus on writing this year. As an author, one might think I write, therefore I have a focus on writing.

But here’s the thing: when an author goes to events, the author isn’t writing much, if at all. When an author is doing book signings, the author isn’t writing much. The priority is to spend time with you, the reader, and rightly so. It’s important and I love meeting readers!

But all those events take away from writing time. There’s also travel that both takes away from writing time and is generally exhausting.

I maintain a day job career in parallel to my author career and I do travel 85% of my time for the day job. Add writerly events in there and I am sometimes away from home for up to 3 weeks at a time. I don’t take vacations, I take time off from the day job to attend writerly events and conventions. There’s no down time and without down time, my creativity suffers.

Last year was rough and much of it was due to the killer schedule I set for myself. I wrote 5 full length novels and several short stories through the course of the year in addition to throwing myself into my day job for the most challenging project of my day job career.  I am proud of my work.

There’s no way I can maintain the pace. I wouldn’t survive.

This year, I’ve decided to manage my time carefully and only attend writing retreats. At these retreats, my writing productivity has been amazing. My intent is to come through 2017 with high quality writing and the foundation laid to do great things with my writing career in the future. My priority is to provide great stories to my readers. This year, I’ll focus on writing.

Even if you don’t see me in person, you can play Find the Piper all over the internet for insight into my writing and hijinx:

Sign up for my newsletter for occasional news about upcoming releases plus exclusive excerpts and giveaway.

Check out the PJRA FB group for fun interaction, shared writing snippets, and occasional contests as my readers track my Travel Hijinx.

Follow me on Instagram for photos of my travels and behind-the-scenes insight into my writing only available here.

Listen to EMEPiper and subscribe to my Patreon to support writing-related creative content.

And of course, I can be found on FB and Twitter, as well as Pinterest and YouTube.

Come 2018, I’ll be looking at events again. I’ll be out there to meet readers and network with pros in the industry. Moving forward, I’ll be carefully balancing these priorities so my writing — the core of me as an author — is still strong as I participate in upcoming events too.

If you’d like me to attend your favorite convention or reader event, please contact the event coordinators and request me. It’s the best way to let events know you want me there. These events are for you, readers. Let them know who you want. 😉

Posted in events & appearances, musings, writing Tagged with: , , ,

EMEPiper Ep 8: Looking Back to Move Forward Effectively

 

AZ Lantern Festival: looking back to move forward

Heading into a new year with a fresh set of goals is a great thing. It’s even better to take a pause to look back on what did or didn’t work in the past year to take lessons learned into the new. This episode is about looking back to move forward effectively.

Highlights

  • Where’s Piper? In a hotel room closet.
  • The final days of 2016
  • How have I been working?
  • Making sure I don’t get lost again
  • Staying focused through the coming year

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.
Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 7: I’m Not Actually a Multitasker

Piper and food and writing

I’ve got a lot to accomplish by the end of the year. Some days, it seems like I won’t get it all done unless I do some things simultaneously in order to have massively productive weekends.

But in reality, multi-tasking might not be the best idea.

So I’m talking about how I do get things done, when it isn’t the best idea to multi-task and when I actually do multi-task.

Highlights

  • A theoretical
  • I’m not a multi-tasker
  • Why it’s not actually good to be a multi-tasker
  • Why it looks like I’m multi-tasking
  • What I’m actually doing
  • When I actually do multi-task
  • Kanban and Trello

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 6: When There are Too Many Things

Piper J Drake sideways

Even when you know how to manage your time, life can happen and things can get in the way. This year I had a whole lot of life going on behind the scenes. Before I could course correct, I was way off track.

This is my confession and what I plan to do to get back to where I need to be.

Highlights:

  • Piper’s Confession
  • The Plan to get back on track
  • Trying something completely new – hypnotherapy?

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 5: Time Management at Events Part 2

WXR16

There’s a lot to cover when it comes to managing your time at conventions, which is why this is part 2 of time management at events.

For me, managing my time at conventions is a survival skill.

 

Highlights

  • My room is my sanctuary
  • Knowing where things are in this place, especially the bathrooms
  • Where to find sustenance
  • Read updated information from the convention
  • Planning in time for 2 unusual things: rest/recharge and unstructured social time
  • Looking back on the biggest events in my year
  • Things I could’ve done better
  • Things I’m doing next year

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 4: Time Management at Events Part 1

Piper teaching at RT Booklover Convention

Why time management at events? It’s con season and for many, conventions or conferences become a blur of things to do, people to see, and it’s easy to lose the key reasons you attended when overwhelmed by the sheer craziness of it all. I love attending them, learning new things, meeting people, refreshing acquaintances. It can be intimidating and confusing. It can be an onslaught to the senses. And it can be amazing, when I manage my time to make the most of it.

Attending conventions and conferences is costly, both in terms of money invested to go and time taken away from writerly things to be there. In this podcast episode, I talk about how I manage my time to prepare and attend cons to make the best use of both my money invested and my time.

Highlights

  • I’ve got a lot of events in 2016
  • Questions I ask myself before deciding to go
  • Planning ahead: 6 months to a year
  • More Planning ahead: a few months
  • A few weeks in advance: do my clothes fit? Where’s the schedule?
  • I’ve arrived! It starts in the lobby.
  • Set up your room for convenience and comfort

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 3: Prioritizing and Urgency

in their own worlds

Prioritizing and urgency via deadlines are at the top of my mind as I kick off 2016’s run of #EMEPiper at the changeover from January to February.

Last year was full of deadlines, possibly the most challenging year for writing I’ve ever had. As a result, I’ve got five books releasing this year, as well as two or three short stories as PJ Schnyder.

For the coming year, I’ve got even more planned and I want to manage my time so I can do all the things, enjoying them along the way. There are going to be some tough choices ahead and a lot of prioritization.

Highlights

  • Why is Piper podcasting about time management?
  • Nifty friends with creative ideas, coordinating dates with writerly deadlines
  • Setting daily word count targets to hit the deadline
  • “Word count” and the publishing perspective
  • Rewire the brain: word count target vs. chapter target
  • NaNoWriMo and drafting, not editing
  • On contracts and pitching and writing the next book
  • Importance of deadlines, even self-imposed
  • Word counts and genre
  • Lessons Learned from Writerly Life: Don’t ignore publisher standards for word count
  • Time Management Trick: Plan Your Day and Prioritize the To Do

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 2: Day Planners and Time Management

Piper Katee Robin

And it’s here, the second episode of Every Minute, Everywhere: Time Management for Authors with Piper J. Drake.

Confession: I’d intended to get this episode up in February. I had a major contractual deadline loom. The deadline became my highest priority and everything else fell by the wayside. This podcast included. Because the reality is that everything about being a writer is turning in your manuscript (or subsequent edits) to get your book published on time.

There’s a time management reality for you. Tough decision have to be made and we can’t necessarily get All The Things completed in the time we have.

Without further ado, I’m excited to share with you an interview with authors Robin Covington and Katee Robert on time management and using day planners to get organized for 2016.

Highlights:

  • Introductions: Robin Covington & Katee Robert
  • How did we hear about EC Planners?
  • Sticker & washi tape love
  • Tracking word count
  • What one thing would you recommend to an author trying to organize themselves for the year?
  • Stickers and stress management
  • Adaptability, multi-purpose potential in these planners
    • (request to Erin Condren to develop an Author’s Planner line)
  • Plotting, brainstorming, character sheets in the planner
  • Marketing and promotion: managing those timelines with the planner
  • Finding time to write
  • Looking approachable is a double-edged sword
  • Writerly wisdom from Katee and Robin

Because this interview took so long to go up, I contacted Robin and Katee asking them for an update on how they’re doing with organization in 2015?

From Robin?

I love using my ECLP and I’ve been able to easily modify it to fit my needs. I use the coil clips to attach printouts of my book Pinterest boards and my plot outlines when I’m writing a book and I’ve found stickers on Etsy that allow me to change the “morning, day, night” headings to “book, family, to do”. The best part of the planner for me is the two page month spread that shows me at a glance what I need to know.

Robin planner
From Katee?

I’ve finally got my planning method pretty much refined, and now I’m geeking out by working on my handwriting so the whole thing is pretty. Using the planner to keep track of both promotion and writing/editing has made it significantly easier to manage my time overall, and my productivity has gone way up.

Shout-outs:

Commentary from Matt “itsOrD” during the editing process:

  • “She’s a morning writer? She’s weird. Tell her she’s weird.”

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

Posted in podcast

EMEPiper Ep 1: Introduction, SMART Goals, and Schedule

PIper J Drake

This is it! It’s my first episode of Every Minute, Everywhere. Time Management for Authors with Piper J. Drake kicking off this week of podcasts to celebrate EMEPiper’s new RSS feed and hosting home.

Highlights:

  • Introduction ? What (or who) am I?
  • Why am I podcasting?
  • The New Year and SMART Goals
  • ?also scheduling
  • What’s in store for this podcast

This is just the beginning and my first foray into solo podcasting. I plan to improve as I go and I hope you’ll all enjoy #EMEPiper’s evolution.

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

Posted in podcast