Time Management for Creative People

Creative Time

When it comes to writing and other creative work, time management is crucial. For example, I have a certain writing “zone” when I can get the words out, and if I miss it, the day is pretty much shot as far as writing goes.

I just finished reading Time Management for Creative People, a free ebook released by writer and creativity coach Mark McGuinness. It’s a really well done 32-page download that provides practical time management and productivity tips tailored specifically for those performing creative work.

You can get your own free copy at Mark’s blog, grab the PDF directly, or read it online.

Or if you prefer video to reading, watch this time management training interview, in which Mark explains some of the key ideas from the ebook.

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  1. Thanks for offer.

    I picked up a copy and read it.

    It really got me thinking.

    My favorite was an example of placing sensory cues around ourselves to get us in the “mood” to produce.

  2. Awesome! Thanks Brian… As a full time employee, Dad, Husband etc…. Time Management is something I could really use some help with… I really look forward to reading it!

  3. McGuinness is the ticket.

  4. Talk about just what the doctor ordered. I’m having a real issue with trying to write when I’m not in the zone lately. There’s some real truth to getting things done by putting them off until tomorrow, But it’s tough advice when you obsess over an article you’ve just written. “Disciplining” yourself to work less but more effectively is the key.

  5. Does he share by any chance how to stretch the day to 48 hours? That would be something I would be really interested in :)


  6. Ah… finally someone’s paying attention to the creative people! Yes, we are a little different from the rest, writing best when we are inspired.

    This should be a good read. I’ll update when I’m done with the book.


  7. ?
    Is it “talk about time management” week or something? All the other freelance blogs I read are writing about this exact same thing. Are you guys in cahoots or is this a sign from above? Perhaps you all just read and bounce off each other??

  8. Hey Brian, thanks. Glad you pointed that out. I can totally relate. As a writer, sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my daily allotment of words at work!

  9. When I start to put my Internet work higher and higher in my priority, I start to find that I am sometimes neglecting my offline activities and priorities.

    I have downloaded this book and will read it by today. Hopefully, I can get some good tips from this book on how I can manage my time better for work optimization.

  10. Thanks Brian! Hopefully some of the good advice from Copyblogger has filtered down into the e-book.

    And thanks for the great comments guys, I hope you find the ideas useful.

    Alex – if I discover that secret I think I may even charge for the next e-book :-)

  11. This is definitely going to get read. The Zone is weird: mine kicks in between 7am and 11am, and then again between 4pm and 6pm. I can write other stuff outside of those times (blog entries, emails) but copy – no chance.

    It’s probably because writing copy is so concentration intensive and those happen to be the times of day when my concentration is at its peak. I wonder if it would change if I altered my sleep patterns and routine…

    ..anyway, must read the book. Thanks for the heads-up, Brian.

  12. Great e-book Mark. Thanks for sharing!

    I love the Urgent/Important matrix. I colored the cells in mine as a visual reminder.
    For Urgent and Important, I used Red since this is the worst place to be.
    For Important but Not Urgent, I used Green since this is the best place to be.
    For both Not Important cells, I used Yellow since much caution is required with these time wasters.

  13. useful tips on time management..
    many thanks Brian

  14. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working on projects with Mark in the past and can thoroughly recommend any product of his!

  15. That’s a stunning photo, Brian. Can I contact the rights owner for possible use, or is it limited to this article only?

  16. it had me at the flaubert quote. :) knowing how agonizing writing had supposedly been for flaubert, he should know, of all men of pen, how the supposedly creative people could manage time for writing.

  17. Wow, thanks! Time management is an area where I could stand to improve.

    Also, that is an amazing photo.

  18. That’s a stunning photo, Brian. Can I contact the rights owner for possible use, or is it limited to this article only?

    The photo is available for a small fee at istockphoto.com

  19. Right now I’m reading Dan Kennedy’s book on time management. It’s called “No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Productivity and Sanity.” Its a good, no-nonsense read (not too surprising with that title) and not too long either.

  20. Bill – yes, my concentration peaks for a few hours in the morning, after that it’s hard for me to write anything that requires creativity.

    Re the image enquiries – there are links on p.2 of the e-book to the photographers who took the images, so you can licence them.

  21. i am wasting time at my creative job RIGHT NOW reading your blog, wheeeee.

  22. Time management is so crucial if you to be more productive, it all boils down to disciplining yourself, stay focus and don’t get destructed, specially if you’re working online.