Wednesday

Top Tips To Increase Your Productivity by Beth Ann Erickson

I have a great article today from Beth Ann Erickson of Filbert Publishing. I hope you find it useful.

Top Tips To Increase Your Productivity

By Beth Ann Erickson

Writing is an odd business. Imagine a career solely depending upon pouring your mental output out on paper.

Never mind.

If you’re reading this, you’re intimately familiar with how we writers thoroughly examine life and are compelled to whip out our pens to comment.

However, the time comes in every writer’s life when words don’t flow as easily as other times. It’s during these times that the following tips will become indispensable to triggering a free-flowing stream of ideas.

So without any further intro, here are the techniques I routinely use to get words flowing into my computer….

1.    Focus On Your Project

When I’m writing, my project is tumbling through my mind 24/7. Never leaves, constantly bubbling in the back of my mind.

When I’m shopping for groceries, I allow my characters to “whisper” in my ear. When I’m waiting at the doctor’s office, article ideas tumble through my mind. When I’m waiting in line, a client’s wrinkly lead for their sales letter will magically iron out.

Although writers often appear present and ready to participate in life, in reality I know I’m rarely completely “there” at any one occasion.

Like Walter Mitty, my imagination continually takes me places where I never expected.

And that’s fantastic… as it should be.

2.    Invest In Technology

I know. The Internet can eat up WAY too much time.

However, used properly, this vast web of information can become your best tool in cultivating a thriving writing career.

Where else can you find an answer to a thorny question in the blink of an eye?

It’s a wondrous technology that will allow you to instantly find the full contact information of an expert in any particular field within minutes.

It also has the potential to become the hugest time-sucker of your entire day.

Every writer needs a website. Every writer needs to gather information that will help them earn the kind of income they desire.

However, you don’t need to frequent every discussion group. Forget about reading every zine that flits into your in-box.

Learn to skim.

Glean the information you need, snag the resources that catch your eye, pass on the rest.

But remain connected to your community, even if your connection may seem slim at times. After all, part of becoming a successful writer is to… write. This is non-negotable.

3.    Create A Schedule

Many writers practice their craft first thing in the morning. They’re up at the crack of dawn, chomping at the bit, ready to pour their hearts onto the page.

I’m not like that. In fact, I find myself fortunate if I can get much of anything whatsoever finished first thing in the morning.

My prime writing time begins late morning and extends until around supper time.

Get anything on the page before 9:00AM, and I’m quite positive it would look like gibberish.

I rarely watch television, instead opting for my favorite activity… reading.

Ah, slip a good book my way and it’ll get devoured faster than a bag of Twizzlers. In fact, I just ordered four more books for my collection today. Found a new author I like and got ‘em all. (Don’t mention this latest purchase to my husband…. My bookshelves are already bursting at the seams.)

But here’s my point: Create a schedule that works for you. Don’t try to emulate my life. Don’t take advice that you’re not comfortable with. Make your schedule work for your lifestyle.

But do create a schedule. You’ll get far more work done.

4.    Jealously Guard Productive Time

Forget the kids. Chuck The Drudge Report.

If you’re “in the zone” keep typing. Don’t stop.

Close the door. Bark at anyone who speaks at you. Tell them to eat peanut butter sandwiches for supper.

Right now, your top priority is WRITING.

Those “zone” moments can sometimes flit in and out of the creative process so when one graces you with its presence, do everything you can to nurture its arrival. Keep writing. Let the words flow. Don’t edit. Make that little burst of muse comfortable so it will visit on a regular basis.

And when you hit your stride and experience that “zone” on a regular basis, then you are truly a blessed writer.

Now, I realize this list is hardly exhaustive. However, I’ve found these four tips to top my list of activities I do on a daily basis to make writing nearly effortless. And (I’m speaking from experience here), you really don’t want to write your way into a situation where every word you nail to paper feels like an unbearable chore.

With just these few (and incredibly easy) modifications to your schedule, your words will flow like water and your productivity will skyrocket. Guaranteed.
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Beth Ann Erickson makes it easy to launch a successful freelance writing career. Grab free articles. Take free e-courses. Learn the secrets to writing irresistible queries. To turbo-charge your writing career, surf to http://FilbertPublishing.com
 

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MORE ON WRITING

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8 Very Common Word Usage Errors

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR PRODUCTIVITY? NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING PROJECT?

I can help. Check out: http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com

5 comments:

anthony stemke said...

Enjoyed those four tips. I love twizzlers particularly the licorice ones, but I digress. Thanks for the sound advice.

Susanne Drazic said...

Great tips. I have to watch the amount of time I spend on the internet. It can get out of hand at times. Also have to work at sticking to a schedule. And finally, I've got to quit picking up the phone when it rings. I can easily get side tracked with a half hour phone call that came in while I was writing.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Tony, I love Twizzlers too! But, I do try to avoid them. :)

Susanne, I agree. Just taking care of email and being active on group sites is time consuming.

I've already forgotten to email clients their work because when I went into my mail, I got sidetracked.

Kristi Bernard said...

This is a great article. I recently created a schedule that is working for me. I wasn't focused before, now I am getting better at it and getting lots more done.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hey, Kristi,

Schedules are so important and I have yet to stick to one! Although, I do get done what needs to get done!