If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time in the last four years, you’ll know I’m a fan of writing routines, being organized, and to-do lists!
While I regularly assess and change my writing routine depending on how my life is going, if I find something that helps with the routine, I’ll stick with it.
One such thing is using a whiteboard. I’ve been doing this since August 2020, and it has really upped my writing game.
My current writing routine involves splitting my work into two weeks. One week is a #WritingWeek, and the other is an #AuthoringWeek.
I wrote a post about The Art Of Authoring last year, which you can read in more detail here, but the gist is that I spend my writing hours that week working on all the authoring tasks that come with being a modern, published writer.
That’s writing blog posts, making graphics for social media, miscellaneous tasks like guest posts for other blogs, or interview questions when I’m lucky enough to feature on other sites. Updating Pinterest (which I have a real love/hate relationship with), scheduling posts, beta reading for other writers, and any other minor tasks I need to do to be a better writer that isn’t writing itself.
A #WritingWeek is—you guessed it—all about writing. If I’ve done my #AuthoringWeek right, writing/editing is all I’m doing on that second week in my routine. It’s the only way I make any genuine progress and keeping all of those tasks straight comes down to a simple whiteboard!
The Benefits Of A Whiteboard To-Do List!
Sure you could write your to-do list on a piece of paper or in a planner—and do that if it works for you—but I find using a whiteboard keeps the list front and center on your writing desk. If you get some colored whiteboard pens and stencils (as pictured above), you can really have some fun with it. The reasons I also love using the whiteboard are because it comes with the following benefits…
It Saves Your Brain From Imploding
The best thing about a Whiteboard To-Do List is that it gives you a place to dump all that stuff that clutters up your brain.
The mental load of trying to write, author, have a social life, work a day job, raise kids, stay on top of your binge-watch list, exercise, eat right, and everything else being a human throws at you is enough to make your brain implode.
Using a whiteboard to write your to-do list of tasks gets some of the mess out of your head and gives it somewhere else to live. Somewhere you don’t have to think about it until you are sitting at your desk, ready to deal with it.
It Gives You Tangible Goals
And when you’re sitting at your desk, that mess on the whiteboard in front of you is tangible goals. They’re the things you will aim to do that week. With them written down and staring you in the face, you know exactly what you need to do.
Knowing what to work on saves you valuable time, which really helps when you have limited creative hours. Work through each task a job at a time and then cross it off your list. It’s that simple and that fun!
It Keeps You On Track
As well as giving you a guide for what to do at your writing desk, a whiteboard to-do list gives you the motivation to stay on track.
When you get to the end of the week and there are only a few tasks left, it’s much easier to sit for an hour on Saturday morning to get them done so you can cross them off. The visual helps. Without it, it’s easy to forget that you only have two tasks and that you can get them done that day. Aim to cross every task off your list within the week of penning them down to keep on top of it all.
Of course, if there are some weeks where you can’t, just transfer those leftover tasks to your next whiteboard to-do list.
If you don’t already use a to-do list to make progress with your writing work, give it a go. If you do, but don’t use a whiteboard, upgrade to one and see if it benefits you too. There’s nothing to lose and plenty of productivity to gain!
What’s your fave way to keep your to-do list tasks manageable? Share your tips in the comments.
— K.M. Allan