Are you wasting time while writing?

Do you feel guilty while wasting time during your writing day?


I’ve just read the results of a survey where workers across many different occupations indicated that the average worker wasted 1.7 hours per day while they were at work. That’s 102 minutes every day. And for that to be an average, some were wasting far more – some as much as 3 or more hours per day. While employers might find these results staggering, many respondents indicated that boredom and not having enough to do were high on their lists of reasons. That must give employers some room for creative thinking, planning and changes to the work day and environment. You can read a report of the survey here.

Do you find yourself wasting time during your writing day?

I do. I check my email, Facebook, Twitter and favourite websites several times during the day. Generally this is a waste of precious writing time. I’ve learned to… let me correct that… I’m learning to limit how many times each day I access my email and social networking sites. I’ve streamlined my email in-box so emails now go into categorized folders. Some need to be dealt with quickly, others can wait and some newsletters may get read if I have time.

Unless it is research, or the distraction moves your writing project along, it is wasted time. But when I do read my emails or check those social networking sites I am trying not to be too guilty about it. Writing is a lonely occupation and I need some contact with the outside world each day. I find some of my Facebook friends, for example, quite stimulating and they are also very encouraging. I need that. They cheer me on – and I cheer them on with their WIP.

It’s all about priorities I guess.

Good writing.


4 Responses to “Are you wasting time while writing?”

  1. Filomena Marano-Daloia says:

    Hi Trevor
    came across your website looking for willie wagtails. Have just returned to Perth after 3 years in a small paese in Italy and I have friends so interested in everything Australian, they love Australia!

    I have started writing a book and cannot just sit and write. I get distracted quite easily but I find the interaction with friends and acquaintances on Facebook a company at times when I need a break. Their input is fuel for my day. Best writing runs are at night when the family is asleep and our hamster whirs in his wheel and I can run as much as I can.



  2. Ken Rolph says:

    I find that I need to balance writing time with thinking time. There are many hours I spend sitting at the keyboard. After many years I’ve learnt to know when this is productive or not. I have a range of other, non-verbal activities I can switch to. Mostly these are physical and involve making things. They may involve calculation, but no use of the imaginative facilities. That way I take my eye off my own imagination and let it get on with the job without interruption.

    It’s also healthier to switch between sitting down and walking around, even for the eyes. There’s little wasted time if the result comes out right in the end.

  3. Trevor says:

    Hi there Filomena,

    Thank you for visiting my site about writing. All the best with your writing endeavours.

  4. Trevor says:

    Hi Ken,

    As usual, you make some very valid points. I am slowly learning the benefits of breaking up my writing day into smaller chucks, interspersed with alternative activities which refresh the mind.