Writing takes time – how much time depends on how efficient you are. We aren’t going to waste yours with fluff and nonsense. We are going to get right to the point – here are productivity tips and tools that specifically address the unique demands of writers.
Here are eight tips that are bound to help you increase productivity:
1. Have a Plan of Attack
When you sit down to work, you should know what you’re going to work on. And saying, “I’m going to work on my writing,” doesn’t cut it. Have a specific plan. Are you going to write an essay? Are you going to write a post? Choose a single project and work on it.
2. Do One Thing at a Time
If you multitask, you will mindlessly jump between different activities. Not only that, but you will rarely complete any of those activities – at least not complete them successfully. Do one thing at a time. Put all other activities on a to-do list and come back to them later.
3. Give Yourself Deadlines
If you give yourself all day to complete a project, it is going to take all day. Give yourself deadlines and abide by those deadlines.
4. Do it Once and be Done
Proofreading once is good. Proofreading five times is bad. Don’t be a perfectionist.
5. Accept the Obvious
Writer’s block happens. There isn’t much that can be done about the unfortunate situation either. Just accept the fact. Don’t waste time staring at a blank computer screen. If you can’t write today, fine. Do something else. Reply to comments. Do some promotional work.
6. Get off Facebook!
For many writers, internet connection and self-employment are a deadly combination. Most of us relish the fact we don’t have a boss. However, the accountability of someone looking over our shoulder does come in handy. In the absence of a boss, you’ll have to monitor your own actions and limit your mindless surfing. A five minute break every few hours is fine. However, more than that is just a waste of time.
7. Organize your Email Inbox
Not all email messages are created equal. Some are more important than others. To make sure you attend to the most important first, set up automatic filters. You can route incoming messages to client specific folders. Set up tags for all submissions via your blog’s contact form. Then, you can address all similar subjects at once.
8. Take Your Job Seriously
Most writers rejoice because they have managed to escape the demands of a 9-5 job. There is a lot of flexibility in the hours we work. That being said, we still have a job to do. Your writing will suffer greatly if you are up all night partying. Remember coffee can only do so much. It can’t provide a clear mind or smooth thought process.
Let these tools make you even more productive:
Dictionaries and Thesauruses
Sometimes even the most genius writer needs a bit of help. Check out various dictionary extensions for Google Chrome or download Wordweb Pro.
Organize Your Thoughts
Sometimes we have too much stuff rattling around inside our brains. Luckily, there are various brain dumping technologies available. Simply jot down your thoughts and be done. Store ideas for future blog posts. Make a note of an article you want to read. Many of these apps sync across various platforms so you never have to be without. For example, check out Evernote.
Whether you are sharing with yourself or a virtual assistant across the country, it makes life easier when files can be accessed from anywhere. Use file sharing tools like DropBox or Google Docs. You can get to your files no matter where you are; after all, you never know when inspiration will strike!
Do you have a productivity tip or tool we left off the list? Tell us about it!