increasing productivity

25 02, 2015

4 Ways to Keep Your Productive Faucet Flowing

By |2015-02-25T06:00:34-06:00February 25th, 2015|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

February is almost over. We’re moving at warp speed through 2015. So how are you doing on those plans and resolutions from New Year’s Day?

If you’re like me, that faucet of enthusiasm has slowed to a trickle or off entirely. Barely a drip.water1

It’s time to heed the words of a great writerly quote from Louis L’Amour, an American author of hundreds of authentic western novels:

“The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

The full quote, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” provides great advice for writers.

You see when life spins out of control writers, well at least to this writer, lets the distractions stop my writing. Instead of moving ahead, I tend to think, “I’ll just finish __________ then I’ll get back to writing.”

Fill in the blank with whatever distracts you from working toward your goal. You don’t have to be a writer to fall into the distraction trap.

What happens is each passing day we don’t work on our goal or resolution, it becomes easier not to do what we planned. Doesn’t take long before self-doubt makes us question if our project is even worth the time at all.

Here are four ways I plan to get myself back on track, and turn my faucet on again.water2

Establish a Schedule

A schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone or the same every single day or week. Make it adjustable. Most important, put the time slots on your calendar the way you would any other appointment or commitment.

Seize Small Chunks of Time

An hour may not seem like much, but you’d be surprised at what can be accomplished in a small, consistent, and repeated amount of time. Snatch those minutes wherever you can.

My goal for 2015 is two books published so I’m training myself to keep my iPad with me and write wherever I go like when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office or a passenger in the car. Since I live in the mountains and the nearest Wal-Mart, doctor, or grocery store is at least thirty minutes away. I’m amazed at how my word count builds.

Set your goal as your priority every day.

I work toward my goals BEFORE I do any other tasks for the day. I find if I do the laundry, clean the house or any of those other very necessary tasks first, I always run out of time. You will too.

Reward Small Successes

Be proud of small incremental steps. I remind myself almost on a daily basis that one word a day gives me 365 words of my novel by the end of the year. When I write an entire chapter, I celebrate with chocolate, usually M&Ms!

If you’re like me and your faucet isn’t flowing as it should, it’s not too late. Do not give up or abandon your goals and resolutions altogether.Rejuvenate that motivation you had six weeks ago. Turn your faucet on.

water3Hear that water rushing?  Now turn your faucet on and let it flow steadily.


30 09, 2013

3 C’s to Increase your Writing Productivity

By |2013-09-30T06:04:56-05:00September 30th, 2013|Make Me Think Monday|4 Comments

We moved to Colorado to escape the rush, rush of living in a large urban metropolis. We wanted quiet so I could write more. My husband wanted to be able work on his master’s degree.

We found that quiet in our little town of 377.


So why hasn’t my productivity increased?

Because urban living wasn’t what was eating my writing time.

In this fascinating article “A Call to Disarm Technology & Hype (And Boost Your Writing Productivity)”,  the blog writer, L.L. Barkat, suggests the internet and other technology keep us on an “insanely high alert” that ultimately kills our productivity.

Barkat believes “when you let yourself get carried away by the high-alert cycle and give in to its constant interruptions, you lose 10 IQ points in each interruption moment (“the equivalent of not sleeping for thirty-six hours—or double the impact of smoking marijuana”), and it takes you about twenty-five minutes to fully return to your original project.”

All I can say is he’s describing me.

Every notice of new posts from FB, Goodreads, or Twitter and computer alert to new email draws my attention. I end up attending to everything and accomplish nothing. I can’t seem to stop the innate sense that I must know what’s going on!

I’ve come up with three ways to “commit to stopping the hype” as Barkat  suggests:

Create Quiet

When I start to write, I turn off my cell phone, no email, no social media, no internet cruising. Cold turkey! Just my desktop that has no internet hook up and me alone in my office.

Peace and quiet and the words flow.

Curtail Social Media

I’m not saying I abandon social media. I’m saying I control social media. Social media is not controlling me.

Following Frances Caballo’s advice on how to eliminate the unintentional hours of wasted time on social media. I’ve set a timer, limiting my social media time. I now use Tweetdeck and HootSuite to schedule tweets and updates. I plan for specific times to socialize via social media like waiting at doctor’s offices, and I  routinely analyze how effective social media is for my platform building.

What’s not working, I eliminate. Take that social media!

Clock writing time

I’ve developed a spreadsheet to keep track of my writing hours. Now, just like a server at McDonald’s, I clock in and out.

First week was a real shocker. Too many days with no clock-ins. If I worked at Mickey D’s, I’d be fired.

Now it’s BICW…Butt In Chair Writing. Every day. No matter what. I clock a minimum of three hours per day.

Amazing how my productivity has improved.

You may or may not agree with Barkat’s premise, but I believe using my three C’s can increase your writing productivity.

YOUR TURN: Has technology adversely affected your writing productivity?