So, last week I wrote about how to stay motivated with editing your novel. And since I decided to concentrate on editing my novel, I realised I had another problem – I wasn’t being productive. I’m so easily distracted that I am able to waste so much time.
So, because I want to get back on track with all of my writing projects and goals, I have decided to find ways to be more productive. And this is what I want to share with all the writers out there who want to be more productive with their writing.
- Switch off the television – working from home often means that daytime TV is on, which can be a distraction, especially if there’s an interesting topic being discussed on This Morning. However, it’s not those kinds of shows that distract me the most. It’s the channel five movies which normally start at 3:15 pm. So, to rectify this issue, I have decided to turn the television off. I still watch This Morning (I once got an article idea for my client from this show), but after that, the television is off until 5:30 pm. It’s going to be difficult (I love the channel five movies), but it’s something I have to do.
- Resist your mobile phone – your phone is a huge distraction, either you’re tempted by the internet, you receive a call or text, or you have the urge to try to complete the next level of Candy Crush. And don’t get me started on the many other things you can do on your phone. So, what you will need to do is turn off the internet, turn your phone on vibrate, and close your phone case, so you’re not drawn to the screen.
- Put on some music – this may not work for everyone, but I have noticed that if I have music on, I’m more productive. Music helps to get me into the zone because I’m blocking out the real world and all the distractions. I would also suggest wearing headphones unless you have a soundproof room like Stephen King.
- Limit your social media activity – there have been times where I’ve scrolled through people’s Facebook posts, and the next thing I know, twenty minutes has gone. So I’m going to limit the time I spend on my timeline to no more than five minutes. I will then update my Facebook page and log out. If you notice that you waste time on social media, then you too should limit your time. Apparently, there are programs that you can use to block your access to social media at certain times. I’ve not tried any of those, though.
- Take regular breaks – staring at the screen for hours can tire your eyes, and cause brain drain. And when you reach this point you aren’t able to do anything productive. So allow yourself to step away from the computer and rest your eyes and brain. Surprisingly, washing up helps the brain drain.
- Set up an alarm – I used this technique for when I wrote my novel. I would set my alarm and allocate myself two hours a day and write for that length of time. It worked; I wrote my novel in three to four months. So, I’m hoping that the same could work for the editing.
- Set yourself a deadline – it can be difficult to be productive when you don’t have a firm deadline. So to solve this problem you need to set yourself a deadline and stick to it. You can then reward yourself if you complete the task on time.
- Make sure you have everything you need – I’ve often ended up having to go up and down the stairs because I’ve forgotten my notes, or folder, or even my pencil case. So before you start writing or editing, make sure you have all the tools you need.
- Don’t be afraid to project jump – sometimes you can be struggling with a certain project, so instead of fighting with the same one and wasting time, you should move onto the next project and work on that. And when you go back to the original project, you’ll (hopefully) be able to solve your previous issue.
- Remember why you’re doing this – when your writing is stressing you out, then it can be easy to forget why you’re doing this, but you shouldn’t forget because the reason why you write will help to motivate you.
So there you have it – 10 ways you can be a more productive writer. I hope these ideas work for you (and me). I’ll keep you posted. Oh, and if you have any ideas, then feel free to share. You can never have too many ideas.
Keep writing, folks!