Writing articles can take its toll on even the most productive writers and bloggers.
As content creators, bloggers are fully aware of their responsibility to write unique and actionable content for their audience. It is through their articles that they are able to communicate their ideas to their readers, who in turn reciprocate by becoming subscribers and/or clients (depending upon the goal of the blogger).
However, writing is also a time-consuming task.
From ideation to the actual writing, there is a lot of effort put into creating well-written content that people will read from start to end. Doing this on a consistent basis is not for the faint of heart, which is why some suffer from writer’s block and a host of other factors that affect their writing.
Ultimately, the main culprit of their inability to produce is not developing a system that allows them to focus on their writing.
In this post, I will help you focus on simple yet effective ways to help you get more articles written in less time.
I will not be discussing which tools you need to use to help you increase your productivity. Rather, I will be discussing habits and environment, both of which are crucial factors that determine how effective you are in writing your articles.
At the same time, shaping these factors will help you create a writing system that works best for you.
Setting Up Your Home Office For Better Work
Your work environment should be designed to aid your productivity as this infographic from Omnipapers suggests:
Click on the image to view the full infographic
If you have a home office, you need to ensure that all of your stuff is organized. In other words, you should make sure that everything is in its right place.
Here are some aspects of your work environment you should seek to improve:
- Lighting: Avoid dim and harsh lighting as this can cause eye strain. The best lighting is natural light. Set up your home office in such a way that your workspace is well-lit with natural light.
- Aeration: Ensure that your office is well-ventilated. You can also add green plants for that extra dose of oxygen during the day.
- Stickers: Planning and staying organized are important if you want to get big things done. Write your ideas and to-do’s on stickers so you have visual reminders of the benchmarks you have to hit.
- Shelves and Cabinets: A messy office creates a messy mind. Ensure that your desk does not have any clutter and that unused files and papers are filed neatly in your cabinets.
- Inspiration: Set yourself up for peak inspiration by having a board with inspirational quotes. Writers create their best work when inspired, so you want to create an environment that feeds your creative muse.
Follow A Standard Work Schedule At Home
Just because you are working from home does not mean that you shouldn’t follow a schedule. Having some kind of structure is critical if you want to get big things done.
In this excellent post by Anna Liesemeyer, she details the tasks that she has to juggle in a single day as a work at home blogger and stay at home mom. Her mornings and evenings are stacked with mommy duties which leaves her afternoons as the only time to get work done.
Given that she has lots of responsibilities to commit to, she cannot afford to go off schedule because it will mess up the balance between her personal and professional lives. Such are the challenges that you as a writer and blogger have to face.
Scheduling your day is like scripting a production number. When you go to Broadway, you’ll be amazed at how flawlessly the shows are executed. They can do this because they are running a script. Not to mention, all eyes are on the stage. Every mistake is scrutinized in reviews and by the viewing public.
Taking this analogy to your profession as a writer, you need to make every second count. Every task in your schedule must be followed to a tee, and it also must serve a purpose.
Develop Working Habits That Work for You
People are different, and not all strategies work for every writer. If you find something that works for you, do more of it.
Lifehack covered the working habits of some famous writers. That article is proof that writing habits are unique to each writer.
- Mark Twain and Truman Capote wrote while lying down on the bed or sofa, while Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up.
- Alexandre Dumas used to color code his work to separate his fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writings.
- Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network screenwriter) literally acts out the dialogues of the stories he is writing.
After you’ve been writing for some time, you’ll start to understand the habits that make you super productive. Developing habits takes time, so you have to be patient and stay consistent. According to the University College London, it takes approximately 66 days for a habit to be hard-wired to the degree of automaticity.
The point of developing habits is to embrace your quirks and eccentricities.
Writers are creative people. This is why they need to do certain things that will help them spark their creativity within, regardless of how strange those habits may be.
Writers do not need tools to be productive. What they need are discipline and order.
Self-control is defined as the ability to do what you need to do whether you feel like it or not. Once you master this concept, everything else falls into place.
You need to get organized and start scheduling chunks of time to write. When you start setting and religiously following schedules, you’ll be astounded by how much you will be able to get done.
Building up these habits will allow you to create more work. Will all of it be good? Probably not.
But the more work you produce, the higher the chances that an amazing piece of work will be produced.
When that amazing thing comes, all you need to do is stay disciplined and create something even better.
Do you have any other tips on how to stay focused during the work day? Share them with me in the comments below.
And don’t forget to share this post!