Maybe you’re a freelance writer, spending your time writing how-to articles for online publications. Or, maybe you’re a novelist, burning the midnight oil to create the next New York Times Bestseller.
No matter what type of writer you are, there’s one struggle all writers have in common: staying productive. After all, writer’s block, looming deadlines, and distractions can easily take your mind off the task at hand.
Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to improve your productivity right now. And who knows, they might just improve your writing too. 1. Scheduling Time for Writing
It’s not about finding time to write. Instead, try and shift your focus towards making time to write. This is especially important if writing is something you must do outside other responsibilities such as work.
Schedule writing time on your calendar each day, just like you would a meeting or appointment. And don’t forget to set a reminder.
Some writers even find it beneficial to use a time tracker when writing, so they know just how productive they’ve been in each work session.
How much time you schedule depends on your unique needs. For example, if you’re writing a book, you could start with an hour of uninterrupted writing time set aside each day. 2. Removing All Distractions
During your set aside writing time, do your best to focus by removing all distractions. Start by moving to a quiet place if you’re able. If you’re in a busy place such as a coffee shop, put your headphones on and listen to some light music (classical is a great choice).
If you’re writing at your desk, clean it up. A clean workspace is known to boost productivity. In fact, a study completed by Staples found that 94% of people feel more productive in a clean working environment.
Don’t forget to remove the distractions on your computer as well. For example, if you use Google Docs, you can try the Distraction Free Mode add-on. This hides all the other controls and buttons, so you can focus on your words. 3. Setting Artificial Deadlines
If you really struggle with keeping yourself on track, setting artificial deadlines for yourself might be a great way to move forward.
For example, if you’re writing a book, you can set a weekly deadline for each chapter. Or, if you’re writing articles, you could set a deadline for a few pieces at a time, delivered by the end of each week.
Make sure your deadlines are realistic and that you’re able to visualize them as you work. This might mean placing a sticky note on your computer (with bright red ink, of course) or setting reminders on your calendar. 4. Focusing on Your Goals Much like setting deadlines, you’ll also want to set realistic goals for yourself. For the best results, the goals you set should be S.M.A.R.T : S: Specific M: Measurable A: Achievable R: Relevant T: Time-bound The first step is to determine an overarching goal. For example, maybe you want to […]