5 Tips for Improved Author Productivity :
Quick and Easy Tips and Tricks
If you want to be a productive writer, it can feel like there’s always something in the way. Between family commitments, not being able to find time for writing, and other obligations getting in the way of your work day…it may seem like you’re never going to get anything done.
But don’t worry! There are some quick and easy methods that will help improve your author productivity, starting today. In this post we’ll cover five tips on how to do just that:
1) Limit Distractions
Today’s digital world is filled with distractions. Between emails, social media notifications and constant alerts of new messages…it can be hard to focus on your work (especially writing).
But the truth is that you need to find ways around these common things that keep pulling us away from our tasks at hand.
Therefore, here are a few different tactics that you can use to cut back on all of these distractions:
1. Eliminate social media: I’m not saying get rid of social media entirely, though there are plenty of people who do this successfully and who don’t miss it. Instead, consider eliminating social media apps on your phone, put a feed blocker on your desktop, or something similar.
2. Turn off notifications: this is one of the most powerful tools to eliminate distractions. Simply turn off all notifications, and you will not have to worry about being distracted by them. Don’t worry, you’re not missing out as much as you think you will. If you worry that you will miss out, make sure all of your friends know to call you in case of an emergency.
3. Check email at a designated time: this is a technique I use to cut back on one of my biggest distractions: email. I set up a scheduled time to check email, and then I only check it during that time. As with turning off notifications, I make sure everyone knows to call me if there is a true emergency.
There are a lot of other ways to eliminate distractions, but these are three big ones I recommend, and they are a great place to start.
2) Set Goals for Yourself
How much writing do you want to get done? What would an ideal day look like for you? These are some of the questions that you should ask yourself when setting goals.
Setting up daily, weekly or even monthly goals can help improve your author productivity by giving you something specific to work towards (and there is nothing more motivating than that).
For example, if your goal for the next month is to write 200 words every day…then make sure that’s what happens. What’s more important than the amount you write, is your consistency.
Goals can take many shapes, but I like to set one big goal, such as finishing a book, then breaking that goal into a bunch of little goals that make up my daily or weekly targets.
3) Try Dictation with a Tool like Dragon
Speech recognition has come a long way in recent years. But these days, it is much easier to write a blog post like this one, or even a full book using dictation software.
There are a few different tools out there, but I like to use Dragon Dictation. It’s expensive, but it’s also by far the best in the business. It allows you to do most of your dictation work with very few errors, requiring very little revision (I actually wrote this post with Dragon).
There are a few other considerations, such as what microphone to get (check out this post for a good list of options), but there are also free programs and less expensive microphones for you to get started today. If you decide it’s for you, then consider investing in more expensive equipment.
4) Use the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro technique is great for improving your author productivity, because it teaches you to focus on one task at a time.
There are two main elements of this method: first, there’s the timer…which should be set for twenty five minutes (this is called a “pomodoro”). Second, there’s the break: where you set a five minute timer and use that time to drink some water, go to the bathroom, move around a little bit, and do some deep breathing exercises.
I found that this technique really helps with my mental clarity, and therefore with my writing productivity.
I’ve also known authors that swear by this technique, using it in all part of their work day. One author I know uses it for his website, and is able to churn out huge articles like this one every single day.
5) Prioritize Your Health
Lastly, if you are having trouble being productive at your writing, consider that it might not be a problem with your methods or anything like that, but something related to your own health.
We often think of mental health and physical health as if they are two separate things. But in truth, the mind and the body are the same thing. You take care of one, and you will take care of the other. Here are few work hacks that can improve your author productivity.
So before trying to find ways of increasing your author productivity…make sure to take care of yourself first!
You do this with a couple of improvements, the most important of which are:
1. Improving your diet to include more fruits and vegetables
2. Removing heavily processed foods from your diet
3. Getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day
4. Staying active throughout the day
5. Drinking plenty of water
6. Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
The above tips are more or less universal, but I am not a doctor, and therefore this is not medical advice, but I do recommend that you meet with a doctor or certified nutritionist to see what is right for you. I can guarantee that it will improve your productivity.
I recommend Joanna Penn’s book, The Healthy Writer, for more on this topic.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of different ways to improve your productivity, but these are some of the most important in my opinion.
Which of these five tactics to improve your author productivity will you try today? All it takes is one tactic to help you feel better about what you are capable of doing.
Give one a whirl and see how much more productive you are after just a few days!
Dave Chesson is the creator of Kindlepreneur.com, a website devoted to teaching advanced book Marketing which even Amazon KDP acknowledge as one of the best by telling users to “Gain insight from Kindlepreneur on how you can optimize marketing for your books.” Having worked with such authors as Orson Scott Card, Ted Dekker and more, his tactics help both Fiction and Nonfiction authors of all levels get their books discovered by the right readers.