There are so many productivity tips out there that try to teach you how to get more out of each day.
“Get up early.”
“Write to-do lists.”
You have heard them all! The truth is that it’s all good advice. So why is it still so difficult to get things done in the limited time we have? What makes those to-do lists seem so daunting? It’s because as writers, we become obsessed with specific problems and we’re too stubborn to move on until this one issue has been sorted out.
This post will walk you through some things that I use to push forward when I feel myself trying to be stubborn.
I’ll Just Flip a Coin
When I am stuck between two problems and can’t decide which to tackle first, I will just flip a coin. Then I tackle that one first. The key is to start working on anything at all to get my creativity flowing. Those of you who follow me know that I am one of those insolent fools who would dare call writer’s block a myth. There is not some magical force that stops you from being able to write. It’s usually just a creative block where we stumble to find the right words.
When this happens, you should stop working on that particular piece for a bit. But you don’t want to be sitting around doing nothing, so I move onto another task. That’s when I will flip a coin or roll a dice to decide what to work on next. Then later on I can move back to the original piece.
Look, I know you might have a deadline to meet and I get it, but when you reach this point you are not going to be able to write anyway. Why waste your time trying to force the issue? It’s always better to be productive, even if it’s making progress on a project that is a lower priority.
I Devote Time to Procrastination
This is one of my crazier habits. I know myself well enough to know that I am going to procrastinate throughout the day so I actually plan for it. I will usually start out my day by going through emails and then I close my client. Then I will check all of my social media accounts while eating lunch. Both are huge negatives according to productivity experts but I know myself well enough to understand that I need to get this stuff out of my head. It works wonders too!
Since I have scheduled these activities, it does not affect my work. Once I get started writing, I am able to write uninterrupted.
The key is to limit how many productivity tips you actually expose yourself to before trying to apply them. Believe it or not, trying to apply too many productivity tips at once is a form of procrastination! It will distract you from what’s important.
Chances are that you have heard them all anyway, so limit new habits to one a week. Never add on a new one until you have mastered the previous.
These two productivity tips for writers might seem a bit unorthodox, but they work wonders for me. They can do the same for you.