Writer’s Blog

How to be Your Most Productive.

Experimentation is key!

Beth van der Pol
Mar 17, 2020 · 4 min read

When it comes to writing, it’s easy for creatives to get stuck in a rut. Creativity is a faucet that a lot of new writers struggle to turn on. Being productive and creative at the same time can seem almost impossible. That’s why so many new writer’s eyes widen at numbers like 2k words a day.

The thing is bigger word counts aren’t hit because somebody is more creative than you. The bigger word counts get hit when someone is more prolific than you!

Now working through writing blocks, and pushing up word counts can be a difficult thing the train. That can only happen with time and commitment!

I’m here to talk to writers who aren’t trying to increase their word counts but just trying to be their most productive selves, whatever that means for them.

What could be going wrong?

I find that when I’m not being my most productive self, it could be for a few different reasons.

Does the place that you are working work for you? Is it too bright? Too dark? Too hot? Too cold? Is it clean and tidy, does it have the right amount of creative chaos? Make sure that your environment is working for you and you’ll find it much easier to get your work done!

How are you feeling about getting writing done? Are you dreading your ‘to-write’ list? If you’re feeling negative about writing, take a moment to assess why you feel that way. Will pushing forward with your work help get rid of the negative emotions or enhance it?

If I don’t have the right kind of goals set for my day, I tend to struggle with productivity. If I set too many goals for myself I procrastinate, if I set too few goals, I slack off. I need to know that my goals are worthwhile accomplishing, and I need to challenge myself a little bit.

Sometimes I have days where it wouldn’t be healthy for me to write. On days like this, I take a step back and work on other tasks, transferring articles, editing, brainstorming idea or other tasks.

It’s important to look after your mental health, so don’t push yourself to write if it’s going to hurt you in the long run.

Sometimes I can’t turn my creativity on. It just works like that. On days like these, I try freewriting or writing about my lack of creativity. Often once I’ve started typing the words begin to flow again!

How to be productive.

If you’ve made sure that all of the above are working for you and not against you, but you’re still not being productive, it’s time to look at your work method.

I went through a period of time a while back where I was so unproductive it was painful. There was procrastination, mental blocks, frustrated cleaning sprees. It got pretty ugly. What I needed to do was look at my workday and figure out why sitting down at a computer and ticking off things from my to-do list wasn’t working for me.

It turned out that it was my work method. Simply sitting down and picking something to do wasn’t working for me. I had to approach my day with intention and give myself something to look forward to.

Cue my sister.

My sister called me one day in an equal amount of lack of productivity frustration and asked if we could work together over skype. She pulled out this app that uses the Pomodoro method and set it to work.

Just like that, all of my productivity frustrations fell away. Working in 25-minute increments turned out to be exactly what I needed to focus my day and get my work done!

Twenty-five minutes of intense focus worked for me. It was just long enough to get a substantial amount of work done but no so long that I wasn’t willing to start the next session right away. It was basically perfect for me.

Find your method.

There are lots of methods out there for productivity if what you’re doing now isn’t working for you anymore maybe it’s time you switch it up. Go exploring.

There is a whole world of people just like you, who struggle with productivity. That’s why these techniques exist. They are there to be used.

Find something that works for you and keep going with it. It’s never too late to try something new, who knows, maybe changing your structure will be good for your productivity by itself! As always, I cannot wait to see you on the bookshelf!

Writer’s Blog

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