How often do you find yourself lacking the inspiration to write, only to put it off until you find it again? Well, I’ve got some news. More than likely, it’s not the inspiration that’s lacking. It’s the lack of time and productivity that’s challenging you. There are already ideas in your head that you need to put to paper, but you haven’t even opened up the document, or the notepad to start that first sentence. Once that first sentence starts, the writing begins to flow. For many, productivity is the difference between finishing your work, or not finishing it at all.
In this post, I’ll go over 8 ways I use my time more effectively to be a more productive writer (than I was yesterday), because lets be honest; I still have a full time job and responsibilities. I create the time for my writing and aim to get better in the ways that help me get what I want done.
Use Apps & Tools
The common denominator when it comes to cultivating ideas. Evernote is a free App, which I use religiously for all my ideas that come to me during the day, or when I’m researching. Ideas for Blog posts, books to read, story ideas. I use Evernote to organize and check off what I’ve done. Evernote can also be accessed on the computer as well, if you don’t have your phone, you can still access your ideas.
I have a couple of laptops and a mobile phone, so dropbox is perfect for accessing my documents and files anywhere I am. DropBox is ‘the home for all your work’. You are able to upload files, images, documents and projects, where they automatically sync to Dropbox on your other devices. The App is free, as well as the software on your computer. There are however upgrades, which you are able to have more space and more features. A perfect way to store all your blog posts, stories and writing so they don’t ever get lost and you can access them anywhere. With dropbox, you are also able to share with other users. They just require consent from yourself to view what you share.
When we read, our mind ticks over. We become more imaginative, more creative and populate our mind with different ideas that we want to learn more about. Even if it’s a fiction book you can discover ideas for your next writing topic, or your next book by simply reading. It’s a sure-fire way to keep you productive. I create a lot of my ideas from reading different books and put them onto paper. I cross these ideas over with linking what I’ve learnt and my personal experience. It gets me hyped up to write and start that first sentence. So try read a little, to write a lot.
Create the Right Routine
How often do we hear that a routine keeps us on track to get certain tasks done? While it’s important to have a routine, it’s important to have the right routine to be productive in your writing. My personal routine involves most of my reading and writing in the evening times. Before I write, I take 15 minutes to read and get my mind into the right mode. I’ll always try to focus on the current writing task that I’m doing and not deviate from something else. I had a lot of trouble with this earlier on and I was extremely unproductive and focusing on too many different things (launching a website, writing a blog, writing a book to name a few). I realized that the key to my productivity was creating the right routine by knowing what task I had at hand, and finishing before moving onto the next one, which leads me to the next point
Don’t Multi Task
Multitasking is part of our lives. How often at work do we try and do two things at once, or start doing a task and revert back to it after starting something else. A couple of reasons why multitask ruins your productivity;
- Multitasking creates stress. Do you ever find yourself in the middle of writing and then subconsciously start to work on something else? You feel like you’re getting nowhere and it creates an increase in unnecessary stress levels that wouldn’t exist if you had just one focus with time on your side.
- More mistakes are made. You don’t have a focus on one task, so it’s inevitable that you’re going to write a sentence that doesn’t make sense, or a sentence that has a lot of grammar errors. When you are invested In one piece of writing, you are naturally focused on creating quality writing
Multitasking has become a way of life, but if we are able to indulge in only one activity at a time, we can be more productive with our time and find quality in our work
Look After Yourself
Self-Care is not always a priority for writers, but it’s extremely important in achieving productivity, which will help build your knowledge, create your ideas and write better. I find some of my most productive periods of creating are during a gym session in the morning. Again, this is part of my routine, which I head to the gym before work. I find that when I’m at the gym, is where I get my best ideas. Not only the gym, but we also need to eat well. If we’re having processed foods every day, it’s common knowledge our energy levels are reduced. Logic would say that when our energy levels are reduced, we feel tired and less productive, so it’s important to get a balanced diet in. Since exercise and diet is important, when we are doing all this and start to become burnt out, it’s important to take a break. This can be rewarding ourselves with a night out, or indulging and feeling like you’ve earned it. If we can balance ourselves out, our productivity remains high and we look forward to writing.
You’ll notice that these 5 Productivity tips all tie in with each other. Productivity doesn’t come from one source. It’s multiple sources that create the consistency. So if you want to become more productive, try these 5 things and you’ll find yourself writing and creating more. You will think of more ideas and the writing process becomes more enjoyable and you become more focused.