Don’t start watching Netflix before a writing session or during writing breaks
I am the worst for doing this. As soon as I settle in front of my laptop and Netflix, that’s my productivity done for the day! As I work part time, I try to write for at least an hour when I get home, but like to have a cup of tea as soon as I’m through the door. If I pair that cup of tea with Netflix or television, I quickly lose all writing motivation, and instead start binge-watching.
It’s too late for me, but if you are debating getting Netflix, but actually want to finish your novel, don’t buy it! It’s lethal for productivity.
If you tire mid writing session, go for a walk
And I don’t necessarily mean the outside kind. Sitting still for a long period of time is likely to make you feel lethargic or restless, so moving, even if it’s just a short walk to the loo or around your house for five minutes, will wake you up, thus improve concentration.
I will illustrate my point with an experience of mine from a couple of days ago. I made the mistake of cosying up in my new fleece blanket. See fleece blanket:
It’s the warmest, softest fleece in the history of fleeces. Not only did I waste the next 15 minutes sending smug photos of me in the fleece to Becca who was at work (see fleece collage):
I was so comfy and sleepy that I ended up wrapped up like a burrito lying horizontally, eyes closed and listening to music. Eventually I forced myself to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water and was able to re-locate my concentration and launch straight back into writing!
Get any important activities out of the way before you settle down in front of your computer
I get home from work at 2pm, but like to write between the hours of 3:30 and 5pm. I therefore give myself an hour to unwind after work, prepare and eat a late lunch and treat myself to a cup of tea. Making sure you are well fed and watered before sitting down to write will aid concentration, and will ensure that you don’t get up every 15 minutes to get a drink or a snack (plus you won’t be spending the whole time thinking about how hungry / thirsty you are). As well as eating and drinking, go to the loo, get your laptop charger or collect up any equipment or books that you might need as you write. Basically, get anything that might distract from your writing out of the way beforehand! Although it may sound counter-productive to almost ‘procrastinate’ before writing, you will find concentrating easier, as there are less things distracting or interrupting your writing ‘flow’.
Put your phone on charge in another room
This one is self explanatory. No phones=no distractions. Unless you are awaiting important news or awaiting a phone call, you can be away from your phone for an hour or two. If, like me, you are constantly touching and playing with your phone, putting it out of reach somewhere where you can’t hear it will improve your concentration ten-fold. You can even treat yourself to an Instagram binge afterwards, as a reward for upping your word count.
And that’s all for today, although there are countless other ways to improve your writing productivity. Share your favourite tips with us in the comments!