Here are the Personal Productivity Habits of a Disorganized Writer

This might be the breakthrough we’ve both been looking for.

Photo by: Jazmin Quaynor on

We’re all looking for the next crazy breakthrough. Whether that’d be in our personal or professional lives, we still somehow manage to mess everything up when we start entertaining those old, bad habits. I was operating on creative impulsiveness, unsure of how to face each day as a writer that knows how to make consistent progress. I wish I would’ve known that I didn’t have to run on a specific schedule to complete my daily tasks and start to build up a repertoire of finished projects.

I realized that I didn’t have to transform my habits to work as efficiently as possible; I just had to tailor them to fit my needs.

Habit #1: Sleeping in Past Noon

Everyone and their mothers will tell you that this is a bad thing. Waking up early is known to be associated with productive people, and while I do work efficiently in the morning (if I’m able to get up), I find that I tire out far earlier in the day than I’d like to admit. I tried to break this habit for a while, and I’ve finally come to terms with the fact I’m never going to be the girl that gets up at eight o clock every morning.

However, I am the girl that’s going to set five alarms to jolt myself out of my sleep no matter how many people tell me it’ll never work. Listen, if I set one alarm, there’s no saving me, so I’m going to stick to my five. Sleeping in is a byproduct of sleeping too late, and I grew rather tired of barely making it through the day. While there are people out there that can stay up past two and still manage to haul themselves out of bed to make it to the office on time, I understand that will never be me no matter how hard I try.

So, I started sleeping an hour or two earlier and waking up with enough energy to push through the day. It sounds simple, but it requires much more effort than you think.

Habit #2: Procrastinating While Working From Home

It’s so bad that I can go an entire day doing absolutely nothing only to overwhelm myself that very evening with the work I haven’t done. This is especially a problem when I’m not on a consistent work schedule or have freelance deadlines to meet. When I’m trying to tackle my own projects, I find myself putting them off for later and staying in to waste time — even when I’m aware I should be putting more time in.

The fix for this was to change the way I view my work environment. My day now consists of me walking out of my front door far earlier than I’d like to sit in a coffee shop for 5–6 hours and work through the tasks that I’ve been putting off for months.

I get excited to get ready in the morning and have a steaming latte while giving all of my attention to my novel writing. That shift in mood has helped me stay on top of the work, especially now that I’m trying to complete the first draft of my novel by January.

Habit #3: Failing to Remain Consistent

The number one rule of getting anything done is to work on it consistently. The more work you leave to finish at a later date, the harder you’re going to find the task to be. I still struggle with this even though I’ve written countless articles about why it’s so important to remain consistent. This works alongside my procrastination to drag me down, especially when I’ve been up to speed with everything that needs to get done.

The easiest way to break a bad habit is to make the alternative impossible.

I stopped considering my daily writing to be this big, scary thing that made it physically impossible for me to start. Knowing that I have a deadline to meet for a client is quite different than working on something you aren’t sure is going to lead to the result you want. Though, I’ve begun to think about not writing as impossible, because it’s the one action that provides so much clarity in my life.

We’re all disorganized messes from time-to-time, even those that are waking up at five in the morning to head to the gym. What matters is both your perspective as well as how you use the time you have.

Take those bad habits and turn them on their heads. It’s time we both stop making excuses and start believing that we’re capable of making it to the finish line.

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