Tag Archive - productivity

Getting to the Core of Your Distractions

We took a look at distractions a bit in some earlier posts, but I want to dig deeper into this topic (hence the photo of the cute rodent in the snow). We all know what things distract us during the day and what our “weaknesses” are. Some of us just can’t stay off social media or check our phones for messages or emails every five minutes. Others get partway through writing a page and notice the floor needs sweeping or the dirty dishes are sitting in the sink.

One prolific best-selling suspense writer I know says she will find every and any reason not to write. She’ll be on her hands and knees scrubbing the stain out of her carpet instead of working on her scene. She looks for excuses not to write.

That’s not because she hates writing. It’s because writing novels is hard! It takes intense focus and concentration, and the effort is often mentally exhausting. And again, if we’re pushing ourselves to write difficult scenes because of a deadline (self-imposed or no) and/or we’re trying to be productive during a low time biologically, we are going to be more easily distracted.

It takes a lot of discipline to stick your butt in your chair, stay there, and be focused so you can crank out those scenes. Continue Reading…

Get in the Habit of Making Time to Write

In this series about productivity, I’ve been talking a lot about excuses and distractions. Many writers complain to me how they just can’t find time to write, how they can’t seem to finish their book they’re writing, and how they can’t get motivated.

I mentioned that the key to becoming a super-productive writer is you gotta want it. That’s at the heart of why so many aspiring writers spin their wheels and never finish or publish anything. If you really don’t want to put in the hard work to see the success you’re after, be honest with yourself. It’s fine to dabble in writing as a hobby. Writing is fun, and if you’re pressuring yourself to be a famous best-selling author and it’s really not what you want with all your heart, you should examine why you’re pushing yourself toward this goal. Maybe it’s time to take up golf or sewing.

On the other hand, if you truly want to crank out books—quality books—and you’re struggling with your attitude, your biological challenges, and/or your habits, you need to identify the culprits and attack them. We’ve looked at many things a writer can do to evaluate the roadblocks to super productivity, and we’ve looked at a number of hacks or workarounds to get passed those behaviors.

In this post I want to share a few more insights and hacks for our habits that, I hope, will help you further. Continue Reading…

Ways to Break Those Habits That Keep You From Writing

We all have bad or counterproductive habits, and sometimes we make excuses for them. “I just can’t stop ___” (Fill in the blank with your standby excuse). Well, if some of your habits are getting in the way of being a super-productive writer, then maybe you will have to do away with them.

And the easiest way to do so is to replace them with some new habits.

We’ve been looking at the ABCs to becoming super productive in our writing so we can crank out books. Not just any books but great books. And the way to do that is to “know thyself.” It’s a threefold analysis that gets us looking at our attitudes, biology, and choices.

Though we touched on attitude at the start of the year, we’ll be wrapping up with a key obstacle to productivity: self-sabotage. But before we can go there, we need to look further into the “C” of those ABCs: choices. And while we may feel that habits aren’t about choices (because we either can’t help doing those repeated things that prevent us from being productive or we’re not aware we do them), the sooner we own our pesky habits and set about changing them, the sooner we’ll be cranking out books. Continue Reading…

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