Writing is a process and it takes time. Here’s my Top 5 Productivity Tips for Writers to help you keep going!
By extension, these productivity tips can be applied to any task that requires hours of concentration and mental performance.
1. When inspiration comes, ride the wave fully!
All writers know how amazing it feels when a wave of inspiration comes, allowing us to write pages and pages without any effort involved whatsoever. Words just flow through us and onto the paper, graciously and coherently.
However, all writers also know that inspiration doesn’t come all the time. Should we rely on inspiration only, we would never finish writing that book or that project that we started with so much enthusiasm. Therefore, tip no. 1 is to make the most out of your waves of inspiration when they do come. If possible, leave everything else for later and make writing your top priority. You can save a lot of time further down the road by reorganizing your schedule to honor your creativity.
2. Follow the cyclical nature of Consciousness
Next productivity tips has to do with aligning your writing habits with Life’s cyclical nature. This cyclical nature applies to Consciousness as well.
You have probably noticed that the more you think of a problem or a situation that you want to solve, the less likely you are to find a solution. In contrast, when you dedicate yourself to something entirely different, it suddenly shows up “out of the blue”. That is to say, it appears to be “out of the blue” because you don’t make the connection.
In reality, there are cycles of focus – letting go – manifestation – focus – letting go – manifestation. These cycles happen all the time, but most people are unaware of them. Now that you are aware, put this knowledge to work for you in your writing. Make sure to allow for periods of time of letting go, so that your overall writing process progresses smoothly. In the short term it could seem like wasting time, especially if you have a tight deadline. Trust me on this, the quality of your writing will be so much better. You will also feel more at ease while writing.
Letting go isn’t necessarily a synonym of doing nothing. It simply means that you shift your focus to something else. It could be laundry or cooking or a walk in nature or catching up with friends… you get the idea. If you have a lot of writing to do, make sure that you start well ahead of time so that you can let the mental process rest in-between. The manifestation – in this case, the actual writing – will be greatly enhanced when you deliberately follow the natural flow of your consciousness.
3. Give your brain fresh air
If you plan on staying indoors all day and work on your projects, make sure you go outdoors in the morning for at least 20 minutes to give your brain a fresh start. This will prevent headache and/ or fatigue later in the day. The human body was designed to thrive in nature, but our contemporary Western societies are becoming increasingly alienated from nature. Therefore it’s no wonder that our body sometimes creates “symptoms” to let us know that we need to attend to it.
If you feel stuck or tired at some point later in the day, rather than going to the kitchen to grab a snack, go outdoors again and give your brain some more fresh air. This trick works wonders to boost your productivity!
You can find more tips on how to take brain breaks for increased productivity here.
4. Exercising the body boosts mental performance
You are probably already aware that physical exercise boosts mental performance thanks to the special mind-body connection that goes both ways. But did you know that depending on what kind of physical activity you engage in, you can stimulate the left or the right hemispheres of the brain at will? Depending on what kind of content you are creating, and where in the process you are, this information can come in handy. As a reminder, the left hemisphere is responsible for logical and sequential thought, while the right hemisphere is responsible for big-picture-focused and intuitive thought.
Brendan Brazier, former professional triathlete and author of the international bestselling Thrive series, makes this crystal clear. In “Thrive fitness” (2015), he explains that if we want to stimulate the left brain, we need to engage in activities where the movements change all the time. This encourages quick thinking, focus, and coordination. A few examples: basketball, hockey, squash, and tennis.
In contrast, if we want to stimulate the right brain, we need to engage in repeat-pattern aerobic activities. These include biking, hiking, running, swimming, and walking briskly. Since the repetition means that less focus is required on the activity itself, the mind can be receptive to new ideas and get into a meditation-like state. This is called “active meditation”. The increased blood flow in the brain, caused by repetitive movements, helps get into this state.
5. Make it a habit to write every day
The habit of writing every day will seem obvious if you are already a full-time author. If you are not yet a full-time author though, it’s worth pointing this out. Writing is a process, and as such, it requires consistency.
Many people start out writing as a hobby or to follow their dream, alongside a regular day job. Time for writing will typically be concentrated on weekends and holidays. However, you will put pressure on yourself unnecessarily if you expect ALL the writing to happen on special occasions. Rather, make room for at least ten minutes of writing every day in your schedule. This will keep the rhythm going, and help attract ideas naturally.
Maybe you recognize the pattern in point 2 here. Your regular job will be your time of “letting go” while your ten or so minutes of writing a day will be your focus point. As days with more free time come, it will be easier to extend the daily time of writing compared to starting again after several days or weeks of pause.
About the author
Susanna is a Highly Sensitive Writer, Energy Worker, and Psychologist on a mission to help raise Human Consciousness. She offers 1:1 sessions as a certified Emotion Code and Body Code Practitioner, as well as group workshops about Conscious Manifestation.