Many writers struggle with productivity. No wonder. Distractions come at us from every angle, every hour of the day. If you’re searching for productivity secrets to supercharge your day, I understand.
At home, children or pets vie for your attention. If you work online, Facebook disguises itself as a chocolate bar–tempting, tempting, tempting. Business coaches have seemingly bred like rabbits, all eager to tell us how to spend our time. Yet the activities they promise will “move our business forward” don’t actually get our work done.
Writers need to write. Putting pen to paper, so to speak, is what generates income. Posting to social media channels, writing our own blog posts, live streaming on social media, creating freemiums to build our email list, researching markets, while all worthwhile activities, do not pay the bills.
If you want to pay the bills and more, I want to share my three top productivity secrets. While not all writing-related, they supercharge me for anything I have planned.
3 Productivity Secrets to Supercharge Your Day
So what is the secret to a productive day? For me, it includes three things:
A Morning Quiet Time
I use the quiet hours of the morning, before my family is out of bed, to spend time in Bible reading and prayer, journaling, and planning my day. Even a person without any particular spiritual belief benefits from a time of meditation first thing in the morning. Journaling helps us to get thoughts that might otherwise distract us during the creative process out of our heads and onto paper.
An Exercise Routine
Writing is a sedentary life. Moving our bodies keeps the blood flowing, the mind clear, and the pounds off. Before beginning my work each day I take a long walk. I take another shorter walk mid-day just to clear my thinking.
Sitting and looking at a screen all day isn’t just bad for the derriere, it’s also hard on the eyes. For healthy eyes, spend time looking into the distance. Walking outside is good for that.
In cold weather, I exercise to a DVD in the living room in front of the picture window. Since I’ve used the same DVD so many years, I practically have it memorized and don’t need to watch the TV. Instead, I face the window and look at the mountains, simulating my walks outside.
Income Generating Activity
New freelancers spend the bulk of their time marketing. As your business shifts, you need to continue the marketing process. Where I used to spend four hours a day sending out query letters or letters of introduction, I now spend one. My workday could get swallowed up with things like social media, writing blog posts, or all the other distractions mentioned earlier. And then I would be up again deadlines and put myself under undue stress. So, at a minimum, I block time for at least one income-generating activity (IGA) every day. That means I’m working on an assignment that pays.
If I do these three things, and my day gets high-jacked somehow, I know I at least earned my living. If my day doesn’t get high-jacked, I work on more than one IGA. If I’m able to work on more than one IGA, and I still have time left in my day, I go to one of those other activities to move my business forward, like writing this blog post or posting on Facebook.
What are your productivity secrets? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to share in the comments.