Ideas to increase productivity?
What are some good ways to increase productivity and not get sucked into distractions?
A friend recently introduced me to this little gem: Write or Die by Dr Wicked | Putting the 'Prod' in Productivity
It actually is very helpful for me when I need to just get words on a page or get my brain juices flowing. If left to my own devices, I tend to think too far ahead, or over-think the story and then just sit staring at a blank page, so overwhelmed by steps 18 and 57 that I canít take step 1.
Iím also trying to be more productive in my writing by cutting out activities that take up a lot of time but arenít necessarily beneficial for me. I limit my number of TV-watching hours every week, and I quit Facebook altogether. Iíve been Facebook-free for over a year now, and it has been good for me in many ways besides gaining the extra time.
Any other suggestions?
Yeah, that Write or Die App is pretty funny.
The guy who develops Liquid Story Binder has a free program called Momentum Writer. It is basically a text editor with no backspace functionality; no way to go back and edit what you've written. So you've either got to just keep going or else close the program and open the document in another program to edit it.
All cat stories start with this statement: "My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...Ē
good habits are the best discipline
I write every morning because that is when my mind feels more clear and free, also you have to feel good after finishing every chapter: Take your advances as little victories, set a reasonable deadline to finish your novel and practice your discipline to keep writing frequently, avoiding time-consuming distractions like Facebook =)
Cool, that sounds like another good way to tame my over-analyzing tendencies I'll look it up, thanks.
Originally Posted by Steerpike
I've heard good things about write or die, but in my opinion, gimmicks only work for so long. Eventually, you ignore them or turn them off. You get brownie points for cutting down on tv and facebook, so just keep that up. When you want to do something you prioritize it ahead of things like TV.
I heard this interview with Neil Gaiman. He said people constantly tell him they have all these ideas but feel guilty when they can't find the time to write them down. Neil's answer was something like this. Why feel guilty? Who says you have to write them down? There's no idea police that wags a finger at you every time you let an idea fade. There's nothing wrong with not writing.
When ever I feel the pain of writing, I think of what Gaiman said. If writing is important to me, do it. If not, lets see what's on TV. Neither choice is right or wrong. It's just a choice.
As for over thinking, just keep in mind what you need to do within that scene and just write. Don't worry about it being good. Just worry about getting the words down. You can always edit and make it good later. The more you do this, the easier it'll get to start and keep going.
Last edited by Penpilot; 5-2-12 at 5:53 PM.
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For me, it's not so much about getting distracted while I'm writing; it's about getting started writing in the first place. Oh, I could just open up LibreOffice, but there's this paperwork here... and oh look, Facebook... oh hey, here's some paperwork I have to file...
Once I get going, it's no problem. It's getting over that hump that kills me.
Pomodoro. Hands down, I've used this for every time I needed to get back into the habit.
Two timers, one set for 25 minutes, the other set for 5. Turn the first timer on and keep writing for 25 minutes. When it chimes, turn it off and start the 5 minute one. Get up and away from your computer, stretch, do something else. When the timer stops, repeat the 25 minute timer again.
This process allowed me to write 25,000 words in a day without much fatigue (I even took two naps between all that).
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It may seem like utter common sense but this method is like pure gold.
Originally Posted by Butterfly
For anyone who says it doesn't work, well, just undertake Rachel's "Time" step. Analyse your writing, find out what isn't working and get rid of it. Okay so maybe you don't need to go all scientific with it like she did, but it's well worth it. I know for example that I'm able to 1000 or so words done with little problem as long as I meet three conditions:
1) No distractions I can't ignore. I don't know what it is but if I'm alone in my own world I can writer better, faster, harder and smarter. I can however cope with music, television, even one or two people in the same room, just so long as I can effectively block them out. haha.
2) Enthusiasm for what I'm writing. This is so important! Why bother writing a scene that you're not excited about? So what if its necessary to the plot, cut it, rework it, make it interesting. The words will fly from your fingers if you're actually interested in the scene.
3) Write in the evening. At a glance this is probably my most productive time, closely tied with When-I-should-be-sleeping time. Especially when the television is all a-swarm with hospital/c&p crime dramas...
All in all it's a mind set. Maximise your efficiency.
Even if you're at a time in your life where yourself isn't something you can think about or indulge (eg, early parenthood) I still reckon you could get decent amount of writing done. No one can say they don't have a spare 30 minutes to an hour. What about all that time spent faffing? Speed up getting ready in the morning, and do some writing instead. You'd be surprised how much time you can waste doing nothing much at all. That "nothing much at all" may seem important to your daily routine, but I bet its not. I know I for one could cut out some of this wasted time.
After all, with 24 hours in the day, how could you possibly use up every second of every hour of them? It's time to get real about things
Say for instance you are a person who finds themselves saying this a lot: "I get home from work at half five or six, have to cook, and after all that there simply isn't enough time for myself". Well, If I'm not much mistaken most meals don't take more than 30 minutes to get ready if you try, allow 15 minutes for eating, that's 6:45. Say you go to bed some where between 11 and 12. That's at least 3 spare hours. Some of that will be filled with looking after people, or doing errands no doubt, but still... there's bound to be an hour in there if you prioritise.