Whether you write in the margins of your day (the extra minutes you can squeeze in here and there) or have blocks of hours to devote to your work-in-progress, we all want to get the most out of the time we have. Here are eight productivity tips that will help:
- Figure out your most productive time of day. This may be early morning, late at night, or right in the middle. It may be because you have the most energy at that time or it may just be because that’s when your house is quiet and you can focus. Whenever it is, take advantage of it.
- Have a devoted writing space. Your body knows when you sit in a certain spot it’s time to work.
- Keep everything within reach. When I have a big writing project, I use reference books, note cards, sticky notes, and my Bible. I keep it all close to enough to grab when I’m sitting at my desk. I also have a cup of water or a mug of tea so I don’t have to get up if I’m thirsty.
- Get comfortable. Since I’m a night writer, it’s easy for me to change into comfortable clothes when it’s time to work. I also have a comfortable desk chair. Because I’m only 5 feet tall, I have a stool under my desk for my feet. I turn on the fan so I don’t get hot and sleepy.
- Eliminate distractions. These can be noises, clutter, or interruptions. Think to yourself, is there anything I need to do before I sit down? Then do it and get it off your mind.
- Turn on background noise. Most of us are so used to noise, silence can be a distraction. You need to figure out the best background noise for your productivity and the best volume. My favorite is a Pandora station with movie scores turned down very low. Music without words is the best for me.
- Turn off the web. Don’t get sidetracked by the constant flow of information in your Facebook and Twitter streams. Don’t worry about the emails coming in. I keep Biblegateway and Dictionary.com open and everything else closed.
- Don’t give yourself a choice. The best way to be productive is to not give yourself another option. Set a goal and meet it.