I easily write between 2000 and 5000 words daily now, both for myself (this blog, books and other sites I have) and for clients (I’m a freelancer). That’s a result of some simple productivity habits I’ve developed over the years.
And as for some writers this is nothing, others still struggle with coming up with 500, and have a hard time starting, writing about different topics, focusing on quality, etc.
Every time I open a document now, I don’t close it until there are at least 1000 words. But it wasn’t like that before.
I also used to wait for inspiration to come, but now I know it’s everywhere around me, and has always been there. I just need to enter a state of a constantly inspired mind and soul, which can be felt in most of my writings.
If you’re a newbie, however, the first and most important thing to understand and accept is that you have to write all the time. No matter how difficult it is for you to concentrate, start writing, complete a page, edit, or else, you just need to keep doing it.
It’s one of the things in life that just need practice. Everything else comes and happens in time.
But if you really want to take things to the next level and are tired of not writing as much as you want daily, here are some simple productivity habits and tips I’ve found to work during the last few years that help me write a lot:
Simple Productivity Habits that Will Help You Become a More Productive Writer
1. Get up early.
I wrote this post at 5:30 am. And I know that by the time others wake up, I will have written quite a lot.
Here are some of the reasons waking up before dawn boosts your writing:
• the early hours of the day are perfect for creative work like that;
• there’s no one to distract you;
• having a morning routine helps you kickstart the day and get to work immediately after it;
• there’s nothing else you should be doing;
• it goes together with drinking your coffee in silence and peace;
• your mind isn’t engaged in anything else now;
• you can focus more easily;
• your willpower is not used up yet and you can get yourself to writing right away;
• action breeds more actions and when you finish a piece, you can move onto completing other tasks.
2. Don’t think and plan too much.
The good old outline is powerful and helps you get started, yes. But do this quickly, just writing down the title, subheading and some main points you can cover throughout the article/story/book/etc.
The point is to get to writing as soon as possible, as otherwise it just becomes another form of procrastination.
Also, if you feel inspired, start writing now. Precious moments like that shouldn’t go to waste.
Simple productivity habits like that may sound easy and small, but they have a huge effect on your writing and goals in life in the long-term.
3. Don’t think about editing.
Let go of judgment, don’t try to imagine how others will react when reading this.
It really doesn’t matter at this very moment.
4. Be present.
It’s just you and the empty page.
Everything else can wait, the only thing you should focus your mind on right now is writing. You have to get it done anyways, and now is the perfect time.
Don’t think about what you’ve written in the past, don’t try to prepare stuff you’ll write in the future. The only thing you have is the present moment, and your current activity deserves your full attention.
5. Be okay with mistakes and rejection.
Many people can write well but never do well at freelancing because they are perfectionists, or can’t handle rejection.
But think about it. Just like it is in life when no matter what you do there’s always someone to disapprove and judge you, so it is with writing.
You can never answer everyone’s expectations and meet their requirements with one article, or another piece of writing.
But each one also has a different purpose. Sometimes you’ll write content for your own blog, social media or other platforms, other times it will be for clients. Some of them will love your previous work and will let you write freely, while others will give you many instructions and can often make you rewrite the whole thing.
But you should be alright with rejection. Just like some people won’t like your book and some readers will prefer to visit other blogs but yours, so are some clients looking for someone different from you.
But that doesn’t mean you’re not good. Everyone’s unique in his writing. And the more you practice, the more awesome you become.
So that’s another one of the simple productivity habits that will help you become a productive writer.
6. Find your most productive time.
Mine is in the morning. The very first part of the day.
You’ll have to do some experimenting before you find when you get most done.
7. Schedule your day around it.
Once you find that time, organize your day in a new way – one where writing will be your main task for the day and anything else will come secondary. Free your most productive time, tell others to respect that, schedule all meetings and other tasks for earlier or later in the day, and dedicate that just to work.
That’s how I did it and it’s been great so far.
8. Don’t mix email and social media with writing.
Checking email and social media is a time-wasting habit, but we all have it to some extent.
However, it shouldn’t interfere with your creative flow while writing.
What you can do about it is have fixed hours in the day when you can indulge in such unproductive activities, or just limit yourself to checking email 2 times a day and spending time in social media for 1-2 hours.
9. Write down your ideas the moment they pop up.
A good habit of mine is to always have pen and paper around me so that I can write down an idea for a future post or book. Sometimes the most random things from daily life can awake your creative genius and you need to be prepared.
Then, in weak moments when you have nothing to write about, you can go back to these ideas and start creating content.
10. My 4 sacred hours.
Now this number may be different depending on your goals, but the goal of that is one – to have such a period in the day (it’s usually your most productive one and in the beginning of the day) that will be dedicated to writing for a few hours without being disturbed.
That means you’ll only take breaks to go to the toilet (and make more coffee like I do).
This sacred time means:
• no communication with people;
• no email or social media;
• no food;
• not being in a hurry;
• not thinking about the other things that need to get done this day;
• not letting others text you or call you during that time.
That’s how you take control and show how much you care about your productive work.
If you’re serious about getting a lot of writing done, that’s what you need to start doing daily and add to your arsenal of simple productivity habits.
11. Measure progress.
One of the things I track daily is the work I get done, when I start and finish, how much time I spend doing it, and how many words I’ve written.
And I can assure you that tracking itself has been quite beneficial.
As a result of that, I know whether I’ve been productive or not and can make the necessary changes (like eliminating unproductive activities).
I also see what works and start doing more of it, I track the progress, and can feel accomplished.
It’s also great for the moments when you want to examine the work you’ve done in the last week or so.
12. Learn how to start small.
Starting itself is the most important step towards writing a lot daily. But in order not to feel overwhelmed and discouraged, you need to take a tiny step.
Like just writing down one sentence, then the next. Or to read what you’ve written before and continue from there, or read a few paragraphs from an inspiring reading to get you pumped up.
Whatever it is, find your thing and use it wisely.
So these are the simple productivity habits that work best for me in terms of writing.
What are yours? What time do you spend writing daily? Do you want to write more?