Q:  While I’m trying to back my way out of my day job, right now I don’t have a lot of time to spend on writing. How can I get more done in less time and make it to my dream of full-time writing faster?

Rebecca MatterA: (Rebecca Matter) First, find your “ideal writing time.” That way, when you do sit down to write, you’re as effective as possible. To figure it out, start by writing at different times of the day. Track how you feel and how much you get done.

Some writers get the most done early in the morning, while others find writing easier once their whole household has gone to bed. Your goal is to figure out when you’re most focused and creative, whether it’s after breakfast, on your lunch break, during prime time television, whatever.

What you’ll find is that during certain hours of the day, you can focus for nearly every minute of every hour you’re at your desk … while during other times, your focus may be 50% of that.

Once you figure out your ideal writing time, go out of your way to guard that time every single day.

Tell your friends and family members that it’s protected time you’re devoting to your writing career, and to hold off on calling or visiting.

And then finally, always have a plan when you sit down to write …

Start each day with a list of at least three things you want to accomplish during your protected writing time. And before you close up for the day, update the list so it’s waiting for you the minute you sit down to write again.

Having a plan — plus uninterrupted, regular writing time — can do wonders to move you forward in your writing goals. Good luck!