How to Get Productive

Photo credit: J Dueck on Flickr
So if there's one thing I've learned about setting myself up to have a productive day, is it doesn't just happen on it's own. Productivity is something you have to dedicate yourself to, but sometimes it can be a little hard to focus or hold on to your motivation.

Given that it's important for writers to learn how to make the most of their time, I thought I'd share some productivity tips to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be.

  • Figure out your zone. One of the best things I did for my productivity was figure out when I work best—which for me is early in the morning. I changed my schedule around and became a morning person so I'd have more early morning hours to get things done, but maybe you'll find your best hours are late at night, or at two in the morning (which isn't uncommon!). The key is to experiment a little and listen to yourself to see generally when you work best.

  • Establish accountability. As distracting as social media frequently is, it can also be really useful in terms of establishing accountability. This week on Twitter, for example, there's #YAGetsStuffDone in which YA writers of Twitter are announcing their goals for the week and cheering each other on. More consistently, there's myWriteClub, a (free) site with customizable graphs so you can keep track of your goals with various projects and cheer with others as you progress. Even just tweeting a goal you want to get done on Twitter can often bring a little extra motivation, both because you've made your goal public, and because sometimes people will jump in to cheer you on, which is awesome.

  • Cut out distractions. How you do this is up to you. I usually just close my internet browser and leave it at that (unless I'm using myWriteClub, which I'll explain in the next step), but some people use Self Control to block their access to internet for a given period of time. There's also Forest, which is a mobile app for $1.99 that keeps you from using your phone when you're supposed to be working, which I'm very much considering getting because while I'm good at not opening Twitter on my browser when I'm supposed to be working, I'm not quite as disciplined with my phone. (Forest also has a Chrome version, which I didn't know until just now.) Alternatively, turning my phone face-down on my desk sometimes helps.

  • When drafting, try writing sprints. If you've never participated in a writing sprint before, it's basically an established chunk of time (sometimes thirty minutes, sometimes an hour), where you try to write as many words as possible. Sometimes if you participate with other people, it can become a competition of sorts, which can be pretty motivating and fun. myWriteClub recently set up a writing sprint section on their site which allows for global sprints that I've really come to love and I wrote about here.

So that about covers my productivity tips. What would you add to the list?

Twitter-sized bites:
Need to boost your daily productivity? @Ava_Jae shares her top productivity tips. #writetip (Click to tweet)
Accountability, reducing distractions, & more make @Ava_Jae's list of productivity-boosters. What would you add? (Click to tweet)

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