Every writer has, at least once in their life, been afflicted with this disease: Procrastination. Picture this familiar situation: You’ve finished 500 words on your blog but you’ve got 300 words more to go. You get a message from your friend inviting you for brunch on Saturday. You get distracted and start planning the time and venue with her. It’s only Wednesday. Before you know it, you’re racing to complete those 300 words to make the deadline.
It’s happened to the best of us.
Being productive as a writer is essential if you’re a professional copywriter. You want to make some serious money penning blogs but you can’t reach your financial and daily goals if you’re always distracted.
Fortunately, there are some tips and trick you can use to enhance your productivity and become a prolific writer. Here’s how to say goodbye to procrastination:
Don’t Multitask and Go Offline
Switching between numerous tasks can hamper the quality and quantity of your writing. In the above example, it took me ages to get back to the flow of finishing my blog. And writers all over the world know that getting that flow is extremely important.
Close all social media websites, tell your colleagues you’re going offline to work and quit Outlook till you finish your blogs for the day. If you still find yourself distracted, use tools like RescueTime which manages your time for you, temporarily blocks energy-draining websites and helps you set goals.
Find your Prime Writing Time
What time of the day are you most productive? You know, the time you churn out maximum number of words? That golden time period where you produce your finest work. We all have a prime writing time. You just have to find yours.
For example, I noticed that I can get my best work done between 2 to 7 p.m. Some night owls work their hardest after 8 p.m. and a few early birds love to catch the worm between 7 to 11 a.m.
Find your prime time and ensure that you remove all distractions during this time to focus on completing your deadlines.
Write Down Ideas
If you need to frequently pitch ideas to your editor, it’s a good idea to always carry a notebook or install a notetaking app on your phone. Sometimes, the best blog ideas hit us when we least expect them to. If you ever get stuck with a pitch, you can always fall back on this list.
Use Productivity Enhancing Tools
Besides, RescueTime, Grammarly is also a useful app that helps your track the number of words you’ve written each day. Although it’s primarily an editing app, it also informs you the number of words you’ve edited each day. On days when you feel super distracted or zapped of your creativity, you can use the word count to motivate yourself.
FYI, both RescueTime and Grammarly are free!
Keep your Working Environment Distraction-Free
Do family members constantly interrupt your Zen mode? Can you hear a crying baby nearby or the incessant drilling of a construction site? It means that your work environment is causing you to lose focus. It isn’t you, it’s them.
Try to keep your working area peaceful. If you can’t help your situation (like the construction site noise), then consider working in a relatively quiet café or co-working space.
Publicly Set Deadlines
Chances are, you’ve wanted to do something but never got around to actually doing it. I’m talking about goals like losing weight, writing a book or traveling to an exotic destination. We set them but rarely work towards actually doing them.
Setting a personal deadline is all well and good but publicly setting deadlines is even better. When you tell your boss you will write a book in six months, you will tend to follow on it because your reputation is at stake. You are held accountable by a third party.
So set deadlines publicly if you’re really serious about writing an e-book or losing weight.
Structure your Ideas Before Writing
When your thoughts are disorganized, you tend to write in a haphazard manner. Structuring your ideas and thoughts in a concise and crisp manner ensures that you stay on-topic. It also helps you become more productive because you know what you’re going to write before writing it.
Conduct a meticulous research before writing a blog. Spend a good 30 minutes on gathering your thoughts. Then, write down the main points and fill in the details. This is an easier and more time-saving way to get words on paper.
Take these above tips and become a prolific writer that isn’t afraid to write 2,000 or more words a day. Of course, you need to be disciplined and committed to the process. If you hit a roadblock, don’t get upset. Just get up, dust yourself off and try again. Becoming a productive writer won’t happen overnight. But once it does, it will be worth it.