Author Topic: Tips for boosting productivity...  (Read 402 times)  

Offline Corvid

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Tips for boosting productivity...
« on: September 16, 2020, 07:57:10 am »
One thing I've found helps me produce new work is to schedule my writing specifically to what it is I expect to produce that day at a character/scene level. The reason I find scheduling works is because it changes how my mind categorizes the act of doing it.

For instance, I always do the dishes at about the same times each day, and I never miss. I always ensure the dishes are done, regardless the amount, seven days a week. And, for some reason I've developed a habit of doing them at what I think of as the optimal times each day. I don't even question it, I just do it.

Fair to point out, I may not always be keen to do the dishes or the laundry, but I don't spend much time thinking or stewing over it, I just get to work because it's something that has to be done, no matter what. To keep producing new work for my author career, I need to develop the same mentality with writing.

On the days where I "miss" and don't produce any new words, it's typically because I haven't specifically (i.e. in actual, non-distracted, concentrated fashion with pen and paper) scheduled what is to be written that day at a scene level, and I then don't treat it like a tangible task that must be completed... like I do the dishes, or the laundry.

No, when I fail to schedule it, it remains floating like this ghost in the ether that I can excuse away or which I'll try to ignore, and that usually winds up leading me into a spiral of guilt. So, yeah, scheduling is essential for my productivity... and my sanity.

Seems like stating the obvious as I read that back, but I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten the above, and then floundered for days wondering why I feel "blocked" or depressed. Then I have to remind myself what made productivity easier. Hope this reminder helps you too. When I'm productive it raises my spirits as well, a nice added bonus.

Another thing I find helps is writing sprints using a 20 minute timer with 7 minute breaks in between. The number of minutes on-off:ratio will vary from person to person, but I find the 20/7 split works best for me. I usually produce 800-1000 words per sprint (though, again, I don't fret over the word counts - it's just what I've observed), and the 20-on/7-off combo usually allows me a fair number of sprints in a row before I fry my brain. It helps to turn off the judgmental part of my mind as well when doing sprints. I can save my nitpicking for subsequent drafts/passes.

So, those are what I find helps... "tricking" myself into remembering/treating writing like a physical task (which, technically speaking, typing on the keyboard is physical), treating it as something specific which must be completed no matter what, and also the sprints.

What about you? What tips do you have for boosting writing productivity you wouldn't mind sharing? (Aside from staying off of kboards, that one seems pretty obvious, lol  ;D) Thanks.


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    Offline kwest

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    Re: Tips for boosting productivity...
    « Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 09:52:05 am »
    I'm sort of a productivity nut. I've tried a lot of stuff over the years.

    The one thing that does NOT work is "winging it." No surprise. The thing that DOES work is a strict schedule using Google Calendar.

    Writing/Editing/Outlining are my deep creative work that DO NOT get interrupted. No internet, no phone, just the blank screen and a notebook next to me if I need to look something up later. I do take breaks every hour or so if I feel I need them, but it requires me leaving my desk to get my phone, but part of me is wondering if I might be better off just going for a short walk without the phone. I have 4-5 hours of "deep work" a day and this time is precious and cannot be interrupted.

    All minor tasks that are not "deep work" get batched at the end of the day and I knock them out methodically one after another. Email, ads stuff, quick blog posts and social media updates. Google keeps me notified when the time to switch tasks coming up since calendar is the only the site I allow through Cold Turkey blocker.

    By the time it's 5, I usually have nothing left to do and the day feels super productive. I can read, play video games, whatever.

    I've written four books so far this year, which is actually high for me since I'll go through 3-4 drafts per book.
    « Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 09:55:06 am by kwest »

    Offline jb1111

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    Re: Tips for boosting productivity...
    « Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 04:23:52 am »
    There are two things that have helped me.

    One is using a timer. I take breaks. When I don't do this, productivity slows. When I do it, it increases.

    Second thing: stay away from social media and internet surfing. It's a little hard to do when you use the same computer for both things (writing and internet), but my own productivity goes up when I turn off all that vast internet static and just concentrate on using the word processor.

    Online jvin248

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    Re: Tips for boosting productivity...
    « Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 07:07:04 am »
    .

    Use a calendar or a spreadsheet to track the day and the number of words added.

    When you see high days and low days on the chart you can see patterns and know what happened and correct future days with what you learn along the way.

    .
           

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