#MondayBlogs,  Discipline,  Time Management

Top 10 Things You Can Ask Yourself If You’re Looking For Extra Time To Write by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

Ever since I decided to find 10 minute increments here and there to write, I’ve viewed the time in my day differently.

Now, I compare wasted time to a designer coffee that I might buy daily without thinking about it.

I’d like to suggest that in the area of time management, conscientious writers need to consider the latte factor.

I did not coin the term Latte Factor. It was, however coined by financial guru David Bach. In his book, The Automatic Millionaire, Bach claims that consumers spend little bits of money here an there, say, buying daily designer drinks.

He claims, and rightfully I think, that these little bits add up. Wise consumers should see that this “money leak” is a problem in the long term. His suggestion is that consumers take active steps to stop those money leaks so that they can save money, perhaps significant amounts.

I’d like to suggest that we do the same with time.

We get only 24 hours in a day and we have to spend it somewhere. This may take some soul searching, but if you are really serious about pursuing your writing dreams, you’re going to have to make time for it.

Great gifts for writers
Mug says, “In the time it takes to drink this coffee, you could have written 300 words.”

I am a firm believer in writing in 10 minute chunks. And like Bach’s Latte Factor, I believe I  can find more time in my day if I look hard for it. 

I also believe that you can find 10 minute chunks of time to write if you are willing to  be brutal with the things that take up your time.

Top 10 Things You Can Ask Yourself If You’re Looking For Extra Time To Write

If You're Looking For Extra Time To Write by Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist

  1. Can you lower your expectations for the amount of writing you can do in a day?

2. Can you be brutally honest with yourself about those optional activities that you could eliminate, like PTA or that birthday party this weekend?

3. Can you get rid of time wasters, like mindless television?

4. Can you consider everything that you do, from the time you get out of bed each morning to the time you go to bed at night — where the time could be slipping from you?

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
Anthony G. Oettinger

5. Can you get up a bit earlier? Or go to bed a bit later without affecting your body’s needs?

6. Can you streamline tasks like meals and chores so that they take less time? Can you plan or prepare meals in advance?

7. Can you delegate to your family members any appropriate tasks, like cleaning, laundry or cooking?

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

8. Can you organize the clutter so that you don’t waste time looking for things?

9. Can you lower your expectations for holidays, extracurricular activities, or family events so that you can have more time?

10. Can you say “no” to people around who need your time and energy?


If you can write 10 minutes extra a day, every day for a week, that’s 70 extra minutes you can devote to writing this week. That’s 280 minutes more this month. That’s 14,560 minutes, (or 242.66 hours!) that you can write this year!

Our time is valuable and no matter how hard we try to hold on to it, it marches forward. Rather than giving up altogether, just look for those latte factor moments, make a few changes in your schedule and make the most of it writing!


Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.


  • Aly

    Hey Katharine!

    This blog post was super timely for me. Like, SUPER timely. I just got married a couple months ago, and in all the hubbub from transitioning from single daycare worker to married freelancer, I’m finding the time in the day just slips away. I’m used to being able to write in larger chunks of time, and for a couple weeks I tried getting up a couple hours before the hubs. I figured I worked best in the AM. Why not make some time for it?

    Two weeks later, I was still prodded out of my post-snooze button doze only to realize I had slept right through my writing block. O.o All that to say, I love your suggestion of looking for the “latte factor” in every day. There’s not a whole lot I can cut out of my day, since we’re moving in a week and whatnot, but there’s certainly time while my husband makes phone calls or the water is boiling on the stove, or I’m waiting on that last load of laundry to finish drying, that I could sit down, pull out my WIP and dig in for a few minutes.

    I guess for me, it’s hard for me to get in “the zone” with only a few moments of time, and that’s why I always told myself I couldn’t write in chunks like that. But it’s looking more and more like I’m going to have to retrain my brain to look for little moments in the day to sit down and make myself focus. I wrote about this exact thing on my blog months ago, but wouldn’t you know it, I seldom take my own advice.

    Thanks for the post, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    • Katharine Grubb

      Welcome Aly! Congratulations on your wedding! You’re in a fun, but tough time of transition. I KNOW you’ve got time to write, you just have to think about where that time is. Saw you joined the group too! YAY! Can’t wait to know you better!

  • Icy Sedgwick

    I write in 8 minute bursts – my usual word count in that time is around 450. But I tend to find that if I set a timer, I often keep going after it’s gone off, and if I do a burst in the morning, I’m far more likely to do another one, or even two, later in the day! Breaking it down makes it much more manageable, and writing 1350 words in three 8 minute bursts isn’t as daunting as sitting down to write the same amount in 25 minutes.