What is productivity?
Being a writer is not easy. I can say this by my two years of experience. A writer needs to put in a lot of research in to her writing. One has to read a lot of books, articles, blog posts, watch documentaries and what not, all in the name of research. But still, many writers whine about not being productive. They believe that they are unable to write as much as they would like to or as much is required. Their productivity is sweeping the grounds and they struggle to write even a few words a day. Now before we talk about what to do and what not to do in order to become a productive writer, we need to understand what productivity means.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Stephen R. Covey
The above mentioned quote speaks a lot about how a productive person leads ones day. As a writer, a mom, a wife and a daughter in law, I have to juggle a lot many tasks in a day. Some go on a loop and are unavoidable. Especially during these testing times when work from home has become “the new normal” things do get to spill over one another. So, what do I do? I prioritize. Right from getting out of bed to hitting the sack at night, I ensure that I follow a schedule which harnesses my productivity. So we got one thing straight, in order to be a productive person one needs to have a schedule which would help us increase our productivity.
Before I dive into the productivity tips I follow, I’d like you to answer the following questions-
- Do you read at least 1 book in a month?
- Is your workspace clean?
- Are you confident?
- Do you have a disciplined lifestyle?
- Do you have your own writing style?
- Are you disciplined?
Now if you’ve answered 4-6 answers as a ‘Yes’ then you are on the road to being a productive writer. But if you’ve answered only 3 or less than 3 as a yes, then you need to roll up your sleeves and start working on your productivity.
Here are the tips-
- Be an early riser- You can also be a night owl depending on your preference. The point is you need to squeeze out an extra hour for yourself. You don’t have to necessarily write in this one hour but, you can certainly do things which were sucking out your precious hours and are also unavoidable. Here’s what I do. As I have my morning tea, I also write up the day’s schedule. It ranges from what I have to write to get my son’s homework done. Then, while my family is still asleep I do my morning meditation and yoga. So by the time everyone else is still yawning and trying not to stumble while getting out of bed, I am already up, fresh and gunning to go!
- Have a schedule– Like I said above, the first thing I do is to write my schedule. It gives you clarity as to where you’re headed. Do you have any ongoing projects, or are you meeting up with old friends. Once you plan out your twenty four hours in advance you are no longer at the mercy of the day but you are the boss and it certainly gives you a productive edge over the others. One thing that you must do before going to bed at night is to check how much you accomplished during the day. This little bit of an extra time will again boost your productivity for the next day. You’d know where you left and from where you need to pick up.
“Failing to plan means planning to fail.”
3. Do not over plan– Do have a schedule and do stick to it but don’t spend all your time in planning. You are not a planner. You are a doer! So get that scheduling out of your way after 10-15 minutes and then get to work. If you have ideas for a story then start working on it. For example- you want to work on building a strong character for your new story then rather wasting your time planning for what you’re going to wear on your birthday which comes next month start shaping up your character for your story.
4. Stop procrastinating– This one is one of the biggest productivity killers of all times. We writers love the idea of doing something. But the problem is that very few of us actually get beyond this feeling and does something concrete. Writers especially storytellers love to live in this dreamy world of building something beautiful for their readers but many of them wouldn’t actually do it. This activity of putting off things to a later date is called procrastination. If you’d keep putting off writing then you can never be a productive writer because you’re not doing your job.
5. Clear your workspace– A clean mind attracts clean ideas and a cluttered mind attracts nothing but clutter. As a writer one needs to have a clear mind in order to allow the flow of ideas. When you have a cluttered or an untidy workspace only clutter will flow, not ideas and that again will hamper your writing efficiency. In other words your productivity will drop dramatically.
6. Read, read, read– This usually is at the top of my list and also the most obvious so I thought I’d take it up a bit later in the article. But it is a fact. In order to write more than one book or an article, you need to have a rich vocabulary. For that you need to read. So far in the year 2020 I have read 23 books ranging from thriller to meditation, romance and spirituality. As a writer I need ideas, phrases and new words in order to keep evolving. If you won’t read then you won’t have the kind of vocabulary writers need and that would again disrupt your productivity.
All the tips that I’ve shared are followed by me and have helped me in becoming a better more productive writer. These productivity tips are surely to benefit you if you follow them continuously.
If you liked this article then do leave a comment and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the future posts.