Daily Productivity Techniques Authors Swear By

by CJ McDaniel // May 26  

Productivity Techniques That Allows Multi-Tasking

It is hard enough to find the time to write. Life is busy, and for most people, responsibilities like work and family are going to take priority over writing.

And multi-tasking doesn’t help much either. In fact, people are 40% less productive when they multitask. You shouldn’t try to do other things while you’re writing.

So this means that when you actually do have some free time to get writing, you need to make the most of it. Using productivity techniques can help you stay focused.

With these productivity techniques, you won’t let a minute of your writing time go to waste.

Work Within A Schedule

It may seem counterproductive to put a time limit on your writing time. Wouldn’t you want to keep writing as long as you can?

It turns out, however, that scheduling your writing time can actually increase your productivity. A schedule that includes breaks is most effective.

Divide your writing time between working and breaks. For example, if you have about an hour, try writing for 17 minutes and taking a three-minute break. Repeat this pattern three times.

Think of it like sprinting. Just like your body needs time to recover in between sprints, your brain needs a break from the hard work.

Knowing that you only have a limited amount of time to write will motivate you. You will be less likely to go on Facebook or click to other internet tabs when you can see the timer ticking down. Plus, knowing you have a break coming up makes it easier to put these distractions off.

It will also help you be reasonable about how much time you actually can focus for. You can only work for so long before you will become mentally tired.

Taking breaks is scientifically proven to increase both productivity and creativity. This means that this productivity technique can help your writing in two ways. You’ll get more accomplished and be able to work more imaginatively!

Shut Down Distractions

Distractions are an absolute productivity killer. Probably one of the most basic but most important productivity techniques is eliminating distractions.

This means no internet (unless it’s for research)! Turn off or silence your cell phone. Don’t even let yourself get up to make a cup of tea until it’s time for your scheduled break.

While this will be difficult at first, the more you practice, the more disciplined you will become.

Set Writing Goals

To get the most out of your writing sessions, you should have a plan. Setting specific goals is one of the best productivity techniques. It will really increase your motivation. This is because you have something to work towards and a way to measure your progress.

Some authors set these goals in terms of word counts. Ernest Hemingway, for example, wrote 500 words a day, every day.

Many writers like setting word count goals because it is easy to tell if you have achieved your goal or not. The numbers don’t lie!

But there are lots of different types of goals you could set. For example, you might want to complete one scene every writing session or edit 4 pages.

And while you can learn from other authors like Hemingway, don’t be too concerned with doing things the exact same way. Set your goals according to what makes sense for you.

Just make sure that your writing goals are reasonable. If you set the bar way too high, it won’t be motivating. This is because you will already be aware that the goal is not possible.

Let Your Progress Motivate You

Another great way to motivate yourself to work on your writing is to take a minute to look at how much you’ve already accomplished.

Keep track of the accomplishments you make each time you write. Did you finally decide how to end a difficult chapter? Or did you exceed your word count goal?

Calculate how many pages your book already is to see how far you’ve come. This can help you imagine the finished product, and that is probably the greatest motivation of all!

Allow Yourself To Write Badly

Every writer has had trouble getting the words down on paper. You have the idea in your head, but every time you try to write it out, you feel it sounds terrible.

So, instead of writing, you sit there so frustrated that you can’t even get past the first sentence.

One of the best ways to get past this is to accept that your first draft doesn’t have to be amazing. In fact, it can even be worse

You will be able to go back and edit your work anytime. Editing is really when the magic happens.

Just focus on getting it down on the page in the first place.

By not worrying too much about how it sounds, you will be able to get more into a creative flow.

Always Be Ready To Write

You never know when a spare ten minutes to write may arise. Maybe you’re early to a meeting or are waiting at a bus stop.

Whether you use a pen and notebook or your smartphone, seize these opportunities to write. While you won’t be able to achieve the same focus as you might in a longer writing session, these little moments can really add up.

Plus, always be thinking about your story so you are ready for your next writing session. When doing tasks that don’t require attention — don’t daydream and drive — allow your mind to wander to your book.

You’d be surprised how many plot points you can dream up throughout the day!

Using Productivity Techniques to Power Your Writing

These are some of the best writing productivity techniques. Setting goals, scheduling your time, and reflecting on your progress will boost your motivation and discipline.

Allowing yourself to write badly will help you get into the creative flow. Always being ready to write will let you be productive whenever you get the chance.

Whether you’re an experienced writer or just looking to get started on your writing journey, these productivity techniques can help you boost your creative output.


Wondering how to increase your productivity? This is the first productivity hack in my new productivity hack series: Deep Work.


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About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!