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Writing is not an easy walk in the park, and there will be times when your productivity will suffer for one reason or another. It could be that you have no time, feel excessively tired, are always distracted, or simply dealing with a case of writer’s block. This can be very frustrating, especially if you have a deadline to make and your living depends on how productive you are. If you're not as productive as you should be as a writer, consider implementing the strategies below to raise your productivity.
1. Get Your Energy Back
If you want to enhance your productivity as a writer, you might need to check your energy levels. Are you always exhausted? Are you eating right? When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? When was the last time you got a proper break?
While writing isn't a physically demanding job, lack of sleep and proper rest will take its toll on your mental capabilities. In fact, that may be why you are having productivity issues. You need to arrange for some time off work and take a break for at least a weekend. If possible, delegate your tasks during that period. If you have any kids, consider letting them visit their grandparents. Alternatively, hire a babysitter and give yourself some time to rest and relax.
Also, pay attention to what you eat. Is your diet balanced? Are you eating excess junk food that causes you to crash and burn? Are you drinking enough water?
Your food needs to be balanced. Junk food and instant meals may be convenient, but it only raises your sugar levels temporarily before leaving you with energy levels that are lower than they were before you ate. Dehydration may also do the same thing.
Commitment sounds easy, but it isn’t—at least not when it concerns writing. Nevertheless, you still need to commit to writing in order to be productive. If you are suffering from writer’s block, you should ease back into writing slowly.
So, what should you commit to? For starters, consider setting a one-week goal. During this time, commit to writing at least 500 words each day. You can then set a two-week goal and proceed from there. It does not matter if what you write has mistakes or not. Sit down and write it all, no matter how long it takes. If you do not know what subjects to tackle, look for online prompts and use them to meet the 500-word daily goal.
You can also commit by setting aside a chunk of time to write. You can start it by dedicating 30 minutes a day to writing. You can break this duration into two if you are busy or get stuck, but make sure you do it each day. By forcing yourself to meet your writing goals, you will be able to get things done progressively.
3. Make Time
Once you've decided to commit to a writing schedule, you have to make time for it. You could choose to wake up a little earlier than usual—say, 30 minutes earlier. You can also choose to sleep a little bit later. By doing so, you would be carving out an extra half hour specially dedicated to writing and nothing else.
You can also make time by hiring a babysitter to look over your children if you have any. Freeing up an hour or so would enable you to write without interruptions. Alternatively, you can adjust your schedule by setting your writing time when your children are asleep.
Intentionally, making time to write is one of the best ways to enhance your productivity. Otherwise, you would always complain that there isn’t enough time to write more and do better.
4. Get Rid Of Distractions
Distractions like the Internet, music, TV and the like are usually detrimental to a writer's productivity. It is imperative that you get rid of them. Assign a workspace for just work. Keep everything quiet by turning off the TV or radio. Disconnect the Internet for a time or just stick to work-related sites. Do the same for your phone. Doing all these things can free up your mind to focus only on writing. The more focused you are, the more productive you will be.
5. Just Write
Sometimes, you just have to push through whatever you're dealing with and just start writing. When you sit down to write, don't worry about the quality of work. The first draft is never perfect, so just focus on finding a way to keep the words flowing. Do it until you meet the time or word threshold that you have set aside for writing.
Once you're done writing and have met your daily goals, try to push yourself some more if you can. If not, lay down your work and take a break or do something else constructive. You can come back after a while and edit the work you have done when you feel more refreshed.
Becoming more productive—or maintaining optimal productivity—as a writer is no easy task, but it can be done. All you have to do is focus on your goals and remain consistent. Take a day every month or so and reevaluate what you have achieved. A celebration may be in order once you see the gains that you have made.