Okay, I must admit that I'm writing this post as much for myself as anyone else. We all have busy lives. If we aren't careful, time will pass us by, and we'll have nothing to show for it. Here are some quick tips to stay productive.
- Do the most important task
first second. First, there's coffee. Then writing, editing, or whatever else is on your "must get done" list.
- Use a calendar. A lot of people use their phones, which is fine. But I'm a visual person, so I use an actual calendar to keep track of my progress. There I keep record of my daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
- Make a to-do list. I am the master of to-do lists. I have one prepared nearly every weekday. Even if my schedule is somewhat similar from day to day, I find that I'm more productive if I have a visual of what needs to be done.
- Set goals and stop. Currently, I'm revising one of my novels, and I have divided up the entire novel with binder clips, four chapters each day. That's my goal, so I take the current day's clipped pages and complete them. Then I'm done for the day. I'm not drained or frustrated, and I'm still able to complete my task on time.
- Unplug. Turn off the sound notifications for your social media. Distraction is the root of all evil.
- Time yourself. Set a timer on your phone and write. Then take a short break. If you have time for more, proceed.
- Take breaks. This one is hard, but if you take a break between activities, it truly helps you mind refocus.
- Reward yourself. Accomplished your goals for the day? I find that Dove dark chocolate is the best reward. :)
- Take days off. Writing is my job, even if I'm not currently being paid. I take two days off every week, just like I would working a regular nine to five.
- Steal time. When you're in line, sitting in a waiting room, or have any moment of down time, pull up your phone's notes app and write. You can later incorporate those thoughts into your writing. I do a lot of short scene writing that I later use in projects. Every moment helps propel your goals, so go ahead and steal 'em.