Looking for ways to increase productivity when you spend time at the keyboard? These seven writing tips can help you get better focused, more productive, and even improve your writing.

Whether taking the NaNoWriMo challenge or not, we can all use pointers and reminders when it comes to increasing productivity at the keyboard. These seven writing tips can set on your way to make a plan, and stick to it!

Writing Tip #1: Schedule your time

One sure-fire way to increase productivity is to schedule a specific time to write every day. Give your writing time priority and schedule a block of time, just as you would schedule a doctor’s appointment, a conference call, or a meeting with a friend for coffee. You also want to have it on your calendar for a set duration of time. It could be 15 minutes, one hour, two hours, an afternoon, or an entire weekend. Choose whatever works best for you and schedule it. You’ve got to fight for your right to write!

Writing Tip #2: Set goals

Once you have your time booked, set a writing goal. It doesn’t have to be a big one. Sometimes you simply want to write a blog post, or you need to write an email in your auto responder series. You don’t need to be working on a book every minute that you set aside, just make sure your writing goal is realistic for you and the time you’ve allotted.

If this is your first time setting a goal for a writing session, set what you think makes sense and then reevaluate the goal after your session is over so you can set more realistic goals in the future.

You can make it very specific, or you can make it project-oriented, but give yourself a target to work towards as you write. You might say:

  • “I’ll write one chapter in my book,”
  • “I’ll write one section in one chapter,”
  • “I’ll write the introduction to my book,”
  • “I’ll write one 500 word blog post.”
  • “I’ll write 1,000 words on __________________.”
  • “I’ll write …”

Writing Tip #3: Have everything ready

You know what often happens? You’ll sit down to write and then you think, “I’m thirsty, I need to go get my water.” Or, “I’m feeling kind of hungry, I’m going to go get a snack.” Or, “I don’t have my notebook, or my pen, or those research notes I need,” and then you go searching for those items and the time you set aside for writing gets whittled away.

This writing time deserves to be uninterrupted. Don’t edit. Don’t research. Just write and finish your task.

It might help to make a check list of the things you want to have ready before you write, including:

  • Notes or research you’ve done
  • A pen and paper
  • Have a few snacks ready
  • Water
  • Earphones, if you want music or background noise

Finally, dress in comfortable clothes. If you’re fidgeting and you’re uncomfortable, that can distract you from your writing as well.

Writing Tip #4: Create an outline

I know some of you resist outlines. Even for those of you who aren’t super organized and normally aren’t prone to using lists, I still recommend you use an outline. When you start with an outline, you’re not going to have writer’s block as often because you know what you’re going to write about in that session. It makes it so much easier. You have a plan. You can even add that to you list of project goals: “Today I’ll write an outline for the first three chapters of my book.”

You can get as detailed as you want, but even with a basic outline, when you sit down to write, you’re not looking at a blank screen. You have bullet points and a plan for your writing session.

Writing Tip #5: Be accountable

Accountability can happen in many ways. For my Author Audience Academy members, we meet monthly for a group writing accountability session called the “Writers’ Block Party.” We share our goals and what we’re planning to get done. I also have a writing accountability forum, where people can post their writing goals for the other forum members to see.

But why not public accountability on social media? Post something like, “Hey, I’m logging off Facebook for three hours to write. I’ll check back when I’m done.” Or find an accountability partner. It doesn’t have to be an author, maybe a friend who is committed to exercising regularly. You can keep each other accountable for your personal goals.

Writing Tip 6: Use the Pomodoro Technique

Have you heard of this? Basically, what you do is you set a goal, and then focus on it for 25 minutes. Set a timer for 25 minutes and really focus on the task you’ve set. When that 25 minutes is up, no matter where you’re at in the process, stop for a five-minute break. Get up, stretch, get the blood flowing, get a snack. Do something other than writing.

That’s the gist of the Pomodoro Technique. It’s powerful when you tell your brain, “I’m giving you one assignment for the next 25 minutes: to write.” These focused periods of time help you get more accomplished with writing and all other sorts of activities.

Writing Tip #7: Celebrate your progress

Actually, the first part of this step is to track your progress. That way, you know how many words that you wrote that day. Then, celebrate your progress.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet the specifics of every goal, celebrate the progress you’ve made, whether it’s two paragraphs or 2,000 words. The more you get in the habit of writing, the more you get to reward yourself. That will result in more positive feelings associated with your writing time, and more motivation to keep at it.

Take the Next Step

seven writing tipsI am so thankful to have people in my life who encourage and support me to continue to take the next step. So I am now encouraging and supporting you to take the next step in your writing journey!

Apply these seven writing tips, encourage others around you, and let me know how it goes. Tweet me @shelleyhitz. I’d love to hear from you. And if you want some extra help, join my FREE 7-day nonfiction writing challenge at WritingWeek.com. In fact, with the 7-day writing challenge, you can download 72 writing affirmations to help you celebrate your successes. Good luck!

Image via ShutterStock.com.

 

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Shelley Hitz

About Shelley Hitz

Shelley Hitz has written 4 posts in this blog.

As an author coach, business strategist, and Christian entrepreneur; Shelley Hitz is on a mission to help you reach more people with your message. She has coached thousands of authors through her books, training programs, online events, seminars, and more. Connect with Shelley and download her free training at www.shelleyhitz.com.

17 thoughts on “Seven Writing Tips To Increase Your Productivity

  1. Tia says:

    Oh, Thank you, Shelley! Productivity is a current problem of all the authors. One month ago, the chain of thoughts raged throughout my head. It was utterly hard to arrange all ideas. And I was oppressed. Only yoga set me free. So, my advice is to do exercises. Physical activity is a must. I do like the third tip ”Have everything ready”. It was a problem for me just to start. Mundane questions distracted my attention and I decided to create writing atmosphere. I put notebooks and pens everywhere. Technologies are catching on, so there are plenty of tools for writers to use. For instance, if you are lack of time and deadlines are strict, some programs or apps can save your life. This article depicts mostly all of cool tools https://unplag.com/blog/time-management-tools/ Also, Shelley, your words ”celebrate the progress you’ve made” make sense, I mean, writers are subtle artists, so chastising and self-criticism may be a killer medium.

  2. Jo Carter says:

    Great article! The only thing I’d comment on is not to try and create a set time you need to write in. E.g. If you always write after dinner. Especially if you’ve got a busy life it’s amazing to be able to write anywhere anytime.

  3. Paul Gresham says:

    Useful article, thanks. It’s also a good idea to remember multitasking – having several different windows open on your computer.
    For example, I’m currently sketching out a scene from one novel and looking at ideas for another novel.

  4. Alice says:

    Thanks so much for this article and for the resource you’ve given.

  5. Sally M. Chetwynd says:

    Pomodoro Technique: Is this how tomatoes grow? Or golden apples? 😉 Why does this technique have this name, or does anyone know?

    Good pointers. I’m getting better at taking advantage of anyplace, anytime to get a paragraph in here, a scene sketched out there, and employing the multiple-window method. Several times a day, I will grab a few minutes aside from my work (unrelated to writing) to poke and prod at my current novel-in-progress, which stretches my brain and refreshes it for the next go at the electrical drawings or other graphics I do professionally.

    1. Ron says:

      It gets its name from a tomato shaped kitchen timer

  6. Trudy Eldred says:

    I’ve already published my poetry book, called : “Poetry from a Quiet Body and a Screaming Mind.” But, oh how I could have used ALL the inspirational tips this website provides to writers. However,I’ve just started my second poetry book – This one is focused for the younger generation.And YES, I will most certainly be following the advice given,
    “Thank you IMMENSELY!!!”

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