Often, as Author Bloggers, we write the posts that we ourselves need.
It’s one thing to understand the theory behind the tips that we give. And another entirely to implement them, and do so consistently.
So, that’s the disclaimer out of the way. I’m a work in very slow progress – as is my novel. As such, I may be the best or worst person to advise on productivity.
That said, here are some ideas that will hopefully help you to increase your productivity, as a writer.
Firstly, don’t be vague.
“Write novel”, as an item on your To-Do List, sounds intimidating and overwhelming.
Be as specific as possible, when setting tasks for yourself. Break them down, and down again, until they become actionable items, that you can imagine doing.
It’s easier to know whether you’ve actually done what you set out to do, if you’re working towards a clear goal.
Eliminate distractions, whether that involves turning off the TV or disconnecting the internet.
Whatever it is for you.
Sometimes I write in notebooks. Yes, the old-fashioned paper variety. Those can’t be used to access: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube…! Basically, this could apply to any sites or apps that you might personally find distracting. You can’t access any of them through a paper notepad.
Whether you prefer to use the term “reward” or “bribe” is your decision.
Either way, do it, if that’s what it takes. If it works for you, it’s worth it.
Track your time.
Identify where your time is currently being spent – and possibly wasted. That’s the first step towards changing your routine.
A system, such as Timeblocking, may then be able to help you.
Batching can help.
I hope to improve at this myself.
Task switching is a major problem for many of us, and batching is great, because similar tasks can be done together, and in advance. This definitely tends to be more efficient, and means that you spend less time chasing your tail.
So yes, definitely one for me to work on.
Finally, knowing when to stop.
I’m so bad at this one. I’m always scared to stop, once I finally get started on a particular task, for the fear that I won’t return to it.
Unfortunately, there’s substance to the fear, as many times, I don’t go back to unfinished tasks.
But binge writing sessions aren’t healthy, and can push us too far, mentally and physically.
In my own case, I neglect basic self-care, such as staying hydrated, in order to get things done, and that isn’t sustainable or sensible, as an ongoing method of working.
I’ve experimented with using timers, and hope to try this again. But the most natural way for me to approach things is the same way I’ve always done.
So, there you have it. I’m not a super productive writer, but would love to be. And these are my tips on increasing your productivity, as a writer.
I won’t even pretend that I’m not being hypocritical by giving advice on this subject, but hopefully, this post will help you, anyway. And we can live in hope that I will actually take at least some of my own advice.
My Writers’ Block post may be of interest.