By Guest Blogger, Kevin McNamara/ The environment that we have to live in today is extremely stressful. Never before has every human had to deal with such an overwhelming amount of various distractions.
These distractions have a vast, sometimes even critical impact on our professional productivity, and this tendency affects everyone in the world (possibly, with the exception of some Buddhist monks in their dastans), including us writers. There are entire books about boosting up your stress-resistance and working productivity, both general and specialized, for various fields of expertise.
Here are ten ideas to help you level-up your productivity as a writer. Hopefully, these tips can be of help to young and aspiring authors, as well as to our experienced and established colleagues.
Look for Good Advice
Evidently, many writers dismiss posts on boosting productivity by default. They tend to deem such posts unoriginal and trivial. However, we are all individuals, and some time might pass before you find a good advice that suits you personally. Even if the advice that you stumble upon does not seem all that original to you, it may prove useful to consider it. In fact, you might even want to share your own tips on increasing writing productivity to aid your colleagues.
Organize Your Environment
It’s impossible to overestimate the important role of a healthy and comfortable environment. Do a few experiments to create or find your personal, fully functional environment. It could be a specially equipped corner at your own place or your favorite cafe, or even your good pal’s place at times. There might even be different places for every day of the week.
For example, try a standing desk or a special writing hat that you wear while at work. Insist that on complete silence, or try chamber music to keep you relaxed and out of stress. For others, hard and monotonous electronic or industrial music helps them stay in shape. It is, however, possible to generalize that it is best to avoid the kind of music that requires intellectual efforts to listen to – such as, for instance, avant-garde jazz or modern academic music.
Putting it briefly, you should try things to find out what aids your productivity best, thus building your very own perfect working environment.
Do Your Homework
When you plan to write an article or post, research before writing to have all your sources at hand, instead of looking for them while you work. Research before writing will writing surprisingly speeds up the process.
Start Your Day With Exercise
It is always healthy and useful to bring yourself to shape in the very beginning of the day. Spend 10 minutes or so doing some simple physical activity, such as push-ups. It will help you get ready for work and keep you from procrastinating until the very noon, which is a true menace to a great many of us.
If you are suffering a fit of writer’s block, if you simply have no idea how to start your article, or how to continue it, don’t just put it off for a few minutes. Instead, do some free-writing about your favorite cartoon character, your pet, or just a random person you just saw in your window. There will be no need to save this text or even look back at it after you finish. Such exercise is merely aimed at training your creative muscle.
Here are some more tips about how to deal with writer’s block.
Cut Off Distractions
It can be a good idea to switch off all your messengers and social network notifications while you are writing. There is software out there that temporarily blocks them. You might also consider using an extra laptop with no online connection, to use it exclusively for writing and editing.
Control Your Inner Editor
While struggling for perfection is always a good thing, you should remember that writing and editing are different activities. When you are writing, focus on writing and don’t get distracted on editing. Actually, if you are not pressed for time, it can be a good idea to edit your written text the next day, when you can give it a completely fresh look.
Avoid exhausting yourself
Don’t stress yourself out. A stressed writer is not a good writer. Take breaks every now and then. Some experts suggest taking breaks every 25-30 minutes, others recommend doing it every few hours. You can also experiment to sort out the ultimate mode for you. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
After having done a certain piece of work, give yourself a reward. It can be anything – starting with a piece of candy or a video and up to a more serious purchase: the bigger the piece – the bigger the prize. This will help you stay motivated.
Inspiration can strike you in the most unexpected places. So, wherever you are: while doing groceries or waiting for a bus, while walking down the street or getting ready to sleep, – be ready to record your newest brilliant idea. There are smartphone apps that come handy, but a simple notebook will do too.
These are the tips that may help you level up your productivity at writing. They do not claim to be the magic tricks to instantly make you a super-writer, merely some good advice. Every writer is an individual, so there can be no universal recommendations suitable for each and every writer there is.
A writer’s path to perfect productivity is always their own, so don’t be reluctant to take into account other writers’ advice, and don’t be shy to share your own experience – both online and offline!