It is very important to know that, sometimes, as writers, the amount we make will be determined by how productive we are. This also applies to bloggers and other creative people because if you can finish that same work in less than half the period it usually takes, you can spend the time saved doing more productive things like marketing your business.
I write an average of 4-5 posts daily, and on my best days I write a total of 7 articles. However, I have been able to increase the number of articles I write on the average day to around 10, and I’m writing even more on my best days without the quality of my articles suffering.
One thing I’d like you to know, though, is that our body is capable of doing much more than it already does, only if we could learn to make effective use of it under the right circumstances. The tips below made me 200% more productive, and I’m sure you will at least be able to double your productivity by following them.
Tip #1 – Have Multiple Computers
I noticed that whenever I work on my main computer I’m always distracted by newsflash popping out of everywhere. I also find it fascinating to be checking my stats often while at the same time interacting with people on Facebook and Twitter.
The reality is that I feel great reading the news, but it becomes really frustrating to discover that I have spent hours doing that, without me knowing it, and also without learning anything worthwhile. This is a problem that needs a solution, and the distractions are just too much than to disable one medium or the other – for another one will soon pop up.
The solution I came up with is to buy a new laptop. This new laptop won’t ever be used to access the internet, because I won’t have the internet installed on it. The only things installed on the laptop are the applications I need to write.
Whenever I plan to write new articles, I do my research first on my “internet enabled” laptop, I try to collate the information I get and then save it into a word document or a text file. I’ll then copy the results of my research into my other computer so that I can easily make use of the information I need without having to set up the internet on it.
The end result is that it becomes very easy for me to write productively since there won’t be a single distraction. I’m only left with two options, write and edit.
Tip #2 – Use a Standing Desk
When you sit down comfortably on the chair, with a cup of coffee in your hands, it isn’t easy not to get distracted, but when you are standing and dancing while working, every minute will be reminding you of the great task ahead of you.
Aside the fact that research has shown that sitting down all day is dangerous to our health, and that it has more health hazards associated to it, using a standing desk also ensures you stay more focused. It leaves no room for comfort, and as we all know, we easily get distracted when we are comfortable.
Using a standing desk can also serve as a form of exercise, and exercises make us healthy and more productive. A standing desk is like a two-edged sword, and having one will ensure you are more productive not only because you will be healthier, but because you will also find it easy to deal with distractions.
Tip #3 – Don’t Multitask
Since you are a writer with a great responsibility and a lot of things to deal with within a short period of time, what better way to get results than to be writing and checking your email and twitter at the same time? Right? The funny thing is that doing that might be a mistake.
I have discovered that I am more productive when I focus on one task and that task only till it is completed. Working on multiple things at a time is a great waste of your time, it also sometimes results in loss of ideas, and at the end, you see that new “very important” information pop up that suck hours of your time, even though you’re yet to finish your primary assignment.
The more focused you are on a task, the easier it is to get it done and work on other tasks, but the moment you start working on 2 or 3 things at the same time, you find it difficult to get things done, and you also find it easier to procrastinate.
Tip #4 – Do Your Research before Writing
One of the secrets to my writing a lot of articles within a short period of time is to research first before writing. Instead of writing article A and then getting the points for article B, I try to know how many articles I will need to write in a particular day, and I ensure I research the points and everything I need for those articles before I start typing the first article.
One thing, though, is that we often need facts for some articles we write, and it is always better to back up those facts with links to authority sources. Instead of having to resolve to use the internet whenever you need those facts, why not get those facts beforehand and put them in a notepad? Why not get the links you need to include along with the facts at the same time so that you can easily make use of them without having to close a single computer window? If that doesn’t seem to work, you can indicate sections of your article that needs facts to back them up, and then use the internet to research those facts once all your articles have been written.
Tip #5 – Improve your Environment
If you tell me you find it difficult to work and be productive, the first thing I will ask you is where you work.
How does your environment look like? Is it healthy? Do you find it difficult to concentrate, or are there children disturbing you with their shouts every moment?
The calmer your environment is, the easier it becomes to concentrate. The more focused you are, the faster you get things done, and the more likely you are to produce something of value.
Sometimes, what you need to do is relocate. You might not have the money to change apartments yet but you can easily look for a friend who has a better environment and be working in his/her place till you get enough money to make the change you need. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to distract yourself with your favorite music. When there is uncontrollable noise around me, what I do is make use of my headset and listen to my favorite albums in the loudest possible volume: I know that is a kind of noise, but it is organized noise and something that makes me more productive instead of destabilized.
Tip #6 – Take Occasional Rests and Exercise Daily
I was always the guy who was never organized. I’m not used to regular exercises, and I only do things the way I want. It was only of recent that I began to see how important exercise is to our health and productivity.
I have been able to increase my daily productivity level by at least 60%, and the reality is that I only exercise for an average of 10 minutes a day. I find out that I’m more refreshed, and relaxed, after doing a few push ups and I automatically switch into a mode where I am ready to conquer the day.
Another important thing is that you should ensure you don’t overwork yourself. It is better to break a day’s work into two day’s work if it means you will still be able to work for the rest of the week. Don’t just work yourself up without thinking about the risks – the harder you work, the more rest you need to take.
Tip #7 – Work at a Stretch
One thing about life is that there is no one size fits all solution to every problem, and while some people will advise to be taking breaks every 20 or 25 minutes, I have found working for a longer period of time to work for me.
Whenever I want to do any serious writing, and after researching and getting my points, I switch myself into a “write mode”. In this write mode I make it a duty to write without taking any breaks for up to 3 or 4 hours, sometimes longer. That means whenever I finish writing an article, instead of going to Twitter or Facebook, or instead of sitting down to rest a little, I move on to the next article without taking a break, and I do that for hours, or for a set number of articles depending on what my goals are.
If you’re a freelance writer who needs to produce a lot of articles regularly, then that is what works for me and I’m certain it will work for you too.
Tip #8 – Write First, Proofread Later
So many writers are obsessed with their writing that they keep on proofreading every sentence and paragraph they write – and the worst thing about that is that their work still end up having errors even after that.
Aside several great writers advising that the best thing to do for your articles is to write it and proofread it with a fresh perspective the next day, I have also discovered that writing my articles without trying to proofread it makes me more productive.
Your articles will never be perfect so there is no point in obsessing over that. Whenever you write, you will experience a free flow of ideas influencing your writing and making it of a high quality, during this free flow it is important not to edit any sentence you write in order to ensure the free flow continues. Once you’ve finished your writing, you can easily go over the article again to edit it to have a better taste.
Tip #9 – Have Clear and Achievable Goals
Another thing that I have observed to be working great for me is to have goals before doing any of my writing. Before writing, it is important to have an idea of how many words you want your article to be, how many articles you want to write, how many hours you want to spend on that article, and how soon you want the article to be completed.
My best days are those days that I start with an idea of how many articles I want written, because no matter how tough that day seems, or no matter unproductive I feel, I don’t stop until I have that number of articles written.
Disciplining yourself is very important when trying to be more productive, but of what point is discipline when there is no goal? When you know what goals you are aiming towards, it becomes very easy for you to discipline yourself towards making it possible.
Tip #10 – Read Productivity Books and Blogs
This is the final and probably the most important tip in this article.
The above tips are only what have worked for me and are very limited in a sense because they come from one man. By trying to read the work of others you will be exposed to the experiments of others, and the results they got. You will be able to see more facts and figures, and you will be able to know what to drop and what to adapt to.
The reality is that there is no one solution to every problem, but at the same time there is no single individual that is entirely different – there are people with the same characteristics and tastes as you all over the world, and by reading productivity books and blogs you will be exposed to what works for them, and as a result find it easy increase your productivity.
The Next Step…
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