Many writers are working between the gaps of paid work and family life to complete their projects. Saving time is essential to boost output. If you are time poor, follow these eight suggestions to help maximise your productivity.
- Set up a business plan and schedule your publishing. There are lots of free plans here:
Once you determine how many books you want to publish a year, you can schedule how many months you need to spend on writing the manuscripts. This can be further broken into hours or pages per day to be completed. Start slow and build up productivity as your routine becomes second nature.
- Cut out social media. Scheduled writing time can be fragmented by the distractions of social media. There are some great apps on the market such as:
Cold Turkey (macOS or Windows)
Offtime (iOS and Android)
iA Writer (macOS, Windows, iOS and Android).
- Most successful authors having writing habits. They routinely write for a certain time every day. If you are struggling with the discipline of this, begin with twenty minutes and time yourself. Keep going until the time is completed. Establishing a routine to write – starting with a tiny change – will increase your productivity. For more tips on changing habits check out current best seller Atomic Habits by James Clear. He focuses on tiny changes creating remarkable results. Find inspiration from the famous writers including Alice Munro, Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, and Susan Sontag. They discuss their writing routines here:
- Use software apps to assist.
Good quality dictating tools speed up transcription and writing. Speech to text software allows you to write faster than you can type and you can write on the move.
Find these and other software tools here:
- Take breaks. Time away allows incubation to take place. Often when you have been thinking about something for a long time you have lots of information and ideas. By going for a walk, a swim, playing sport or hanging out with friends your mind gets a break. Your unconscious mind takes over and starts working on a solution and this is called incubation. Find out more ways to exploit incubation here:
- Be organised. Break large tasks into smaller tasks. Employ a system for gathering research and notes. This could include having a separate folder for research, notes, inspirations and ideas. Software tools like Scrivener and Ulysses assist writers to organise their work.
- Use synchronised tools. These can be used across devices and save having to copy and paste information. Some tools that sync include Google Docs, iA Writer and Evernote.
- Declutter – clear out cupboards, surfaces and drawers, remove books and papers, and have a clear open desk area. This removes distractions. Only have the work in the space that is current.
Using these tips will help the river of creativity to flow faster. Happy writing!