Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
If you’ve contracted the procrastination bug, another thing to try is to change your routine. Get up one hour earlier than you do now every work day and spend that time writing. Try it for a couple of weeks, and you might find that you’ve discovered the key to accomplishing more. If you’re like me and mornings are not for you, stay up an extra hour at night, or, if you already stay up quite late, tell yourself that you need to spend that last hour before bed working on writing. Give it a two-week trial period to see if the plan is working for you.
These are just suggestions. Your personal routine might call for you to write in the middle of the day while the kids are in school or you might need to swap two activities to make some time for writing.
If you tend to go to bed really late, try going to bed earlier for two weeks to see if it changes how productive you are during the day. Sometimes wandering minds are caused by sleepiness. It’s hard to focus when you’re tired.
Keeping to a schedule can really help us procrastinators. The most productive writers I know work each work morning for a set number of hours before going off to “start the day.”
Remember that you can’t just make the change in your routine for one day and decide it doesn’t work for you. You should take at least two weeks to try out the new plan and give it a fair test as well as your body time to adjust.
What changes might you make in your routine that could help you to overcome procrastination and be more productive?
I change locations. After a few days of writing in the same room, I’m ready to haul the laptop outside, to a library or even to an empty classroom at church. (It’s really quiet there during the week.)
At home, sometimes it’s as simple as pulling my chair to a new window. Sometimes I hide out in the kids’ rooms. A new location helps get me out of ruts.
I’d change my schedule, but I don’t seem to have one. 🙂
I get up early to write. I’ve learned I have to sit at my desk or outside on the back patio. If I sit in the comfortable chair in the corner of my office, I’m bound to fall asleep. 🙂
Going to bed earlier would be a big help. Since I’m a night owl, I tend to get a second wind around 9PM. I stay up too late, and then dread the mornings. I keep saying I will cut myself off at 11 each night, but it doesn’t happen.
As writers, we tend to sometimes forget how important it is to nurture ourselves. I’m more likely to procrastinate with this than disturb my writing groove. That’s why I’m re-thinking my walking routine, Rachel. I used to be in a better habit of doing this on a daily basis. Over the summer I fell into a bit of a rut (as in walking when I had the time…)I’m determined to get back on schedule. Healthy bodies build creative minds! 🙂
I’m envious of Cheryl. 🙂 After the kids are in bed, I’m usually reading on the couch and asleep in 15 minutes. If I turned on my laptop instead of allowing myself to relax, I know I’d get a lot more done. Hmmmm…something to consider. Thanks Rachel!
I’m the same way, Cheryl. It doesn’t matter how tired I am during the day, I’m always perky after 9 and then I’m exhausted in the morning because I didn’t get to bed early enough. Good thing God gave us coffee!
Changing locations is something I didn’t think of! Great idea, Regina. I love taking my reading outside when it’s nice out.
If I really need to crack down I use a laptop with no Internet access. Cuts waaaaay down on checking e-mail and accessing social media.
Janet Ann Collins
I like Sarah’s idea. Social networking is supposed to help sell books, but I could do it 24 hours a day if I’m not careful.
What has helped me is knowing what kind of work I can get done when. Aside from the full time job and family, the remaining time is spent on ministry and writing.
Within the ministry sphere are things that can be accomplished or at least progress made in 15-20 minute increments.
When I know I only have a half hour, I focus on getting those out of the way, and then look to intentionally carve larger chunks (1-2 hours minimum for the writing.)
There is definitely overlap, and the ministry is a key part to platform building, so it too is part of the writing life.
Inevitably, when I carve out a couple DAYS to write, big opportunities come up. One time it was being asked by Promise Keepers about their return to Peoria and my involvement. Two weeks ago it was for a request for a week’s devotionals for a Man in the Mirror publication.
These can be distractions, but since I did have a couple days worth of time, I just carved out the time to adequately address the new opportunities, knowing if it helps the platform, it helps the book.