There’s not many of us who can hold up our hand and can say that we’re 100% productive. We do things we shouldn’t be doing, we distract ourselves on small things that do little to help our book sales, and like a kid in a sweet shop, the lure of social media and its empty calories is too tempting not to stay away from.
So, what can you do to boost your productivity, to look back on your day and know you’ve done the best you could? Here’s eight tips you can try out today.
1 – Outsource – If you want to double your productivity, then you need to double your staff. While one plus one may equal two, having an outsourcer work on the things that you’re weakest at, or hate doing, can more than double your productivity.
Why waste your time trying to create a book cover that is never going to be as good as one a book designer can do for you? Why spend your day submitting your free book giveaway to book sites when you can hire someone else to do it for you?
If you’re putting it off because of cost, consider how much time you’re wasting doing those things, and not on what you’re good at? Wouldn’t it be better to focus that time on your writing and making bigger strides with your career?
2 – Eliminate Temptation – If you think having your web browser open while you’re writing or having your mobile phone beside you is going to help you, you’re mistaken. If you want to get the most from your time writing its vital that you eliminate all temptations and distractions from the line of sight. Even if you’re not using them, just knowing that they’re there and wondering what you’re missing out on can take your head out of the game.
If you find social media is your Achilles heel, maybe it’s time to buy some software that’ll lock your screen and make it difficult for you to participate in anything until you’ve done your writing.
If you find yourself being distracted by web searching, maybe it’s time to consider buying an old laptop and uninstalling all software from it, except for your writing software. You could also go as far as to uninstall the drivers that give the laptop access to the Internet. And as for your phone, if you can’t trust yourself, keep it out of the room or better yet, give it to someone to take it away from you.
3 – Wake Up Early – It’s a popular belief that the most productive people get up in the early hours of the morning. Not only is this a great time to get things done, but it limits the amount of distractions that can interfere with your writing. Getting up early also limits the social media news feeds from friends and colleagues who aren’t wake yet, so you’ll have no one on social media to converse with.
Getting up early and getting your work done first thing is also a wise choice when it comes to brain power. Starting when your brain is freshest will always give you better results than one that’s taxed and exhausted from all the work it did that day.
4 – Take Your Breaks Seriously – Don’t make the mistake that if you want to be more productive that you should take fewer breaks. There is only so much time you can mentally work at full capacity. So, make sure you add some breaks to your writing day.
And when you are taking those breaks, make sure it’s a complete break away from your desk and laptop. Get up and go for a short walk. The change of scenery and the exercise will do you good and help you recharge for the next writing session.
5 – Leave Your Work Unfinished Before Your Break –If you’re tempted to finish that last paragraph at the end of your writing day I’m here to tell you to fight that urge. Although your brain craves completion, having a sentence or paragraph to complete the next day means that you’re not starting from fresh but are continuing on from the previous day’s writing. This means that when you sit down, you know exactly what you’re going to write next and then it’s easy to get back into the flow of things and continue on writing.
6 – One Thing At A Time – Don’t fall for the myth of multitasking, there is no such thing. Yes, you may be able to eat and walk at the same time, but that’s because both those things don’t take your full concentration. If you think you can jump from web browsing to writing and still give both your full attention, you’re mistaken. Each time your brain jumps from one activity to another, it takes a while before it gets back to working at full capacity at that task. So, although you think that you’re saving time doing two things the same time, it’s actually going to take you longer to complete them than if you did them singularly.
7 – Schedule The Fun First – Although Brian Tracy promotes the thinking of doing your most hated task first and getting it out of the way, maybe the opposite would be better suited to you. If you find yourself procrastinating at a certain area of your writing because you don’t want to do it, then maybe it’s better to tackle the parts they are more appealing to you. Once you’re up and rolling, then move on to the harder parts. A word of warning though, just make sure that you don’t just do all the fun tasks and avoid the difficult ones. Those difficult tasks may be what’s going to bring you the most results.
8 – Find Out Your Productive Time – Like some people are morning people and some people are night, you’re going to find that some parts of the day are more productive than others. If you find you do your best writing late at night, when the house is quiet, then that might be the best time to do your writing. If on the other hand you find it best to write first thing in the morning when your mind is freshest then go with that. Over the next few days pay attention to your daily word count and when you felt your best writing was done. So rather than slugging it out when you don’t feel like writing it may be a lot better and more productive for you if you’re writing when you’re at your best.