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How to achieve ultimate productivity as a writer

27 February 2017

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‘Ultimate productivity’; there’s a nice - if entirely unrealistic - combination of words.

Any writer will know that the ability to remain productive and creative every day is incredibly difficult. With so many distractions in the modern world and the ever-present threat of writer’s block bearing down on one’s shoulders, getting as much done both efficiently and to the best of your ability is challenging.

That’s why we’ll start this post with a disclaimer: the following tips won’t solve all of your productivity woes, but that’s for one very good reason - you’ll never eliminate every distraction, period of procrastination or time where the ideas simply won’t flow. We’re all human, after all.

What you can do is build into each day a few habits and best practices that foster a healthy approach to productivity. And you’ll be surprised by just how easy they are to implement.

1. Only write when you feel most productive

There’s no getting away from it - few writers are capable of producing their best work for long stretches of time, which is why working in bite-sized chunks is the way to go.

The key here, however, lies in choosing the best time to write. For you, that may be early on in the day, midway through or late at night. Whenever it is, choose your time wisely and stick to it. Never work if you feel unproductive - a piece of advice that sounds obvious, until you consider how often you currently do just that.

2. Remove distractions

Turn off your email.

Put your smartphone out of sight.

Situate yourself in a room that’s absent of TVs and the radio.

If your smartphone must be by your side, turn off notifications and silence it.

Remove everything from your writing space that is likely to demand your attention. Similarly, try using a distraction-free writing tool (have a Google search - there are many).

3. Try a writing retreat

Sometimes, removing oneself from familiar surroundings can have vastly positive effect on productivity.

This is why writers often head to destinations far from their usual home or office comforts in order to make serious strides on work. A writing retreat could be similarly beneficial for you - give it a go!

4. Seek input from others

Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavour. In fact, it really shouldn’t be - you’re surrounded by people who can help you be more productive, even if the opposite usually feels true.

When inspiration drys up and you find yourself completing only a menial number of pages each day, ask for help. There’s no harm in doing so and a close family member, colleague or fellow writer might be able to provide all of the inspiration you need to regain your mojo.

5. Give the Pomodoro technique a try

The Pomodoro technique is a fascinating method by which people remain productive in this noisy digital world.

Based on the theory of working for set periods of time (usually twenty-five minutes), followed by fifteen to twenty minute breaks, Pomodoro has revolutionised the working lives of many and it could do the same for you.

This is focussed work like no other and demands further exploration if you’re into the business of writing thousands of words each week.

Final thoughts

We hope this post has inspired you to do all you can to become as productive as possible. It won’t be easy and requires just as much patience as it does ditching the every day comforts on which you think you rely, but find your happy place, productivity-wise, and you’ll create your best work in far less time.

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