Green Time, Yellow Time, Red Time

In sales, there's a lot of bull you have to deal with during the day. Things that take you away from selling, which is what you're there to do, which is sell. There's administrative BS, there's personal BS, there's all sorts of BS, and most of them are WAY more fun than making a cold call. So I learned early on how to schedule my day. It was something I learned at my first real sales job at AFLAC. It's very simple. You just have to schedule your day into GREEN TIME, YELLOW TIME, and RED TIME.

  •  GREEN TIME: The time where you are doing the thing that will make you money. This is actually selling, writing contracts, prospecting, and having appointments.
  • YELLOW TIME: The administrative stuff that has to get done but doesn't make you money. These are things like responding to e-mails, filling out paperwork, and doing tech support for your clients.
  • RED TIME: These are all the other things in your day. It's calling your mother, making doctor appointments, and singing in the car on your way home.
That's how we do it in sales, and this is how we change it up for writing.
  • GREEN TIME: Actual writing. And eventually selling books, meeting with publishers, negotiating contracts, etc.
  • YELLOW TIME: Writing e-mails, sending out query letters, meeting with agents and such.
  • RED TIME: Everything else.
I suggest you literally schedule your day and color code it so that you know exactly when you plan on doing these thing. At AFLAC we had yellow time from 8-9, green time from 9-4, yellow time from 4-5, and red time after that when we went home.
And by having it blocked out it told me what I should be doing at any moment of the day. So if you know you get home at 5pm, but it takes you an hour to get comfortable and respond to emails before you write, schedule 5-6pm as Yellow time, 6-8pm as Green time, and 8pm onward as red time.
It's really helpful to visualize your day like that for some people to keep you on track. At this point I have it in my brain and it's internalized, but you have to make it a habit before you get there.