Various factors can affect a writer’s productivity. For one writer, it may be time and space to write, and for another writer, the problem might be some kind of mental block (or lack of ideas), and for yet another writer, the problem may be indecision on how to approach the writing.
To learn how to be more productive as a writer, you need to stay committed to your craft. But most of all, you need to exercise a lot of discipline.
Below is a list of tried-and-tested tips that can help you to increase your productivity as a writer.
- Cut Down On Distractions
Writers who complains about a lack of time must consciously create time.
The fact is that time, unlike other resources (e.g. money), is an evenly distributed commodity. Everyone has 24 hours a day to work (and play) with. How you organize and use yours is solely up to you.
The truth is that we all have our different distractions. For some people, it is the big tube: the television. For others, it is the internet, and for some, it is everything that speaks and sings. If some of us will calculate the number of hours we devote to some of these distractions, we will be shocked at the time we spend on these things. Half the time, we go to these distractions for entertainment.
While it may not be easy for some of us to completely get rid of distractions, limiting the time we spend on them is a good starting point. Cut down on time spent on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Limit the time you spend watching Netflix series. Devote that time to writing and you will be amazed at the amount of progress you’ll make.
In other words, to increase your productivity, cut down on the time you spend on your distractions.
- Embrace Task Allocation and Delegation of Authority:
As a professional writer, there are aspects of your work you can delegate. For instance, you can hire an assistant to handle your social media correspondences, financial management, budgeting and if possible, research. Delegate, delegate, delegate. That’s the mantra of all successful writers.
Spend the bulk of your productive hours doing what you know how to do best. If you embrace task allocation, you’ll find that you’ll be more productive, more creative and even more efficient. What’s more, you’ll kiss fatigue, burnout and writers’ block goodbye. The benefits of task delegation have been emphasized by productivity researchers.
If you want to boost productivity, make up your mind to be proactive. Allocate as many tasks as you can to your staff. Automate the bulk of your work where possible. Your goal is to create more time for reading and writing excellent, groundbreaking work.
Many writers do not have 9 – 5 jobs, and therefore, do most of their writing from a home office. Writers in full-time office employment write during office breaks, while commuting to work or during bedtime. The only common denominator between both groups is this: schedule and commitment.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that because a writer works from home, time is therefore, in abundance. WRONG. While working from home can be a great thing for a writer, it might also be one big disadvantage.
Many writers who work from home find themselves struggling to juggle house chores, babysitting and writing. Ask anyone who has done this and they will tell you that juggling so many balls is no mean feat. You have to be careful to not drop any of those balls.
The best way to avoid this huddle is to schedule your time effectively. Prioritize important tasks on your to-do lists. Plan every project for the day and ensure that you complete the most important tasks before you move on to the next.
For those writers whose low productivity is as a result of a lack of ideas, the solution might be to put down the pen and pick up a book.
Writing is not something to be forced. It is something that flows from the deep recesses of our imagination. For your imagination to bear fruit, you must titillate it by wide reading. Some people have said that the best writers are voracious readers. Just like travelling, reading inspires a writer.
My advice to those writers who can’t find something to write on is to read, read, read and relax. Let your imagination run wild and get ready to put pen to paper when the time comes.
- Take Care Of Your Body
I don’t care if you are the most talented writer with the greatest imagination, the truth is that without optimal mental and physical health, you can’t function properly. Unhealthy people are rarely ever productive in any endeavor. Writers must care for their bodies and souls.
A writer who exercises regularly is more refreshed and more relaxed when writing. Research has shown that walking promotes blood circulation, and consequently, creative thinking. Creative artists are advised to take walks before they commence a creative project.
Another tip is to sleep. Sleep researchers have shown that getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep boosts creativity and the body’s immune system. In fact, sleeping gives the brain time to cleanse and repair itself. If you are facing a mental block, perhaps, you should consider eating a proper meal and resting.
When we neglect our bodies, we inevitably break down and lose productive time.
- JUST WRITE
Many writers want to be perfectionists when they write and thus spend a lot of time and energy going through their writings line by line and at the end of the day achieve very little.
Good ideas come in torrents and must be written down immediately else they fly away never to return. Therefore write down the ideas as they come to you and forget the proofreading and editing for later, preferably the next day or days.
Final thoughts on how to be more productive as a writer.
Creative writing is both fun and exciting when things are going well and you are productive enough. Occasionally, writers find that their level of creativity has dropped.
To increase your productivity as a writer, all you need to do is read, write, sleep well, exercise and eat healthy meals.
What do you do to increase your productivity as a writer? Leave your tips in the comments section.