You can probably guess what I’m referring to—New Year’s resolutions. It would seem one of the more popular ones making the rounds for writers is how to increase writing output.
There’s a course offered on Becoming a Productive Writer. It’s only $100. I decided to spend my time and money writing. (as opposed to studying about it)
Amazon is sending all sorts of recommendations my way—Writing Faster, Writing Smarter.
On and on it goes.
I decided to make my own list on increasing productivity. So here goes…in no particular order.
1. Coffee, coffee, coffee. And a sip (glug) or two of 5-Hour Energy as needed.
2. Turn off the internet. Don’t check email. Don’t check Facebook. Especially don’t follow links in Facebook. I mean really, do I absolutely need to see the most bizarre wedding pictures or watch a video of a baby tasting bacon? Really? I don’t think so.
3. Start early. I know, I know. It’s easier said than done but there is something about getting started that makes it easier to keep going. Just do it. I cannot tell you how many times I have to say this before I get started. What can I say? It’s a case of do what I say, not what I do,
4. Make it a practice to so some prewriting. Again, it’s do what I say, not what I do. But when I do prewriting, it makes #3 so much easier. By the way, this is a trick I learned from a very helpful little book.
5. Still can’t get started? Or need to get more done? Set a timer. I set mine for 15 minutes which about the most I can hope to get without interruptions. My friend sets hers for 45.
6. Be accountable. To a friend. On line. To your family or even to yourself. Knowing how much you can do in your usual writing time, commit to doing it.
7. Limit phone calls to before, after or in the middle of the day when you need a break. This one is hard for me because I do need to call the accountant, order supplies, etc. Businesses aren’t open early enough so I can’t do it before I start. I have to book a time to do it.
8. Spend a day taking care of other things so they aren’t distracting you. Get the laundry out of the way. Run the vacuum cleaner through the house, etc. A clean slate makes for a clearer mind.
9. Prepare and plan meals ahead of time.
10. Enlist the help of family. Someone else can peel potatoes or mop up the puddles. Tell them, too, when you need an hour of uninterrupted time. My rule is family comes first but that doesn’t mean I can’t sequester myself away from them for an hour or two at a time.
That’s it. My ten ways to increase productivity. Now to apply them so I don’t have to keep repeating, do as I say, not as I do.
Time to get to work.