Writers are often working day jobs, so they have to make the most of the time they have to write. These tricks can help you get through your paying job more quickly, so you can start writing earlier in the day.
There’s a Facebook group called “Ten Minute Novelists” made up of lots of busy people, and plenty of mothers, with kids to take care of.
If you only have 10-20 minutes a day to write you definitely need to make the most of your time.
Hopefully, though, you can set aside longer blocks of time, like 3-4 hours. That way you can try to get into the “zone,” or the “flow” as writers call it.
If you do get into the “flow,” try not to stop, if you can. This is the time when you’ll be most productive.
Here are some other proven tricks that will hopefully help you get work done fast. Best of luck.
1. Every night, write out a list of the three most important things you need to do. Put the list on your notepad on your cell phone, or on slap a hand written note on the fridge, where you’ll be sure to see it. Don’t do anything else until you’ve finished those three tasks.
2. Turn off the TV, or at least the sound from your TV. You can’t get sucked into a plot, or the news. Besides, the news will just depress you, or start you worrying, and wasting valuable time.
3. Turn off your cell phone. So many people pick up their phones every ten minutes, just to see if their friends are texting or emailing them. You will live if you put it off a few hours. Decide on three times a day to check your calls, and emails, and Facebook posts, etc. It is possible.
4. If you need a break, or if you’re feeling tired, take a bath, a shower, or wash your face. If you’re at the office this may not be easy, but you can wash your face. Warm or hot water, or just feeling clean will give you a quick boost.
5. Make decisions about your everyday mundane tasks before the week starts. Pick out what you’re going to wear all week, for example. There’s a reason Einstein wore a grey sweatshirt every day. Also, if you can, decide where you’re going to park all week, and decide what you’re doing for lunch all week.
6. Listen to podcasts that boost your motivation (like Tony Robbins, or Wayne Dwyer, for example), in the car on the way to work. Or if there’s a way to get some work done (research, for example), listen to the information on audio, and make your commute more useful.
7. If you can, exercise before work. It tends to help you stay more focused, and for longer time periods of time. If you absolutely can’t exercise before work, do it after work. It will help you with stamina and focus. Before is better, but after is still good.
8. Learn to turn down people who ask you to do extra work. You can do it, just say, “Sorry, I’m just too busy.” Then prepare yourself for their comeback, like “But I helped you out last week.” If you anticipate the reaction, you won’t get caught off guard and agree.
9. Have an accountability friend. You can both stay in touch, preferably after work, and share with each other what you’ve accomplished and what more you need to do. It will keep you on task. It doesn’t work if you’re not honest.
10. If you can, for example, if you’re working at home, try moving to another desk, or maybe the kitchen table from time to time. A fresh location can give you a feeling of being refreshed. And moving around is good for your circulation.
11. Studies have shown that the best foods for our brains, long term, are fish, nuts, seed and Dark Chocolate. You want a steady stream of glucose going to your brain. Things like donuts, candy bars, and other sweets cause a quick spike in glucose, but then are followed by a crash.
12. If you like coffee, be sure to drink water with it, since it dehydrates you. Green tea will actually keep you energized longer than coffee, and doesn’t cause as big a crash.
13. If you’re up against a hard deadline, and down to the wire, energy drinks, like Monster will give you a quick boost, but in the long run, all the sugar in those drinks isn’t real healthy.
14. Try to work in an environment that’s 70 to 72 degrees. The research has shown that around 86 degrees, your productivity will take a 10% plunge. If you don’t want to run up your electricity bill, go hang out at an air-conditioned Starbucks.
15. Limit the number of sentences you use in your emails. Try to keep everything you type in your emails to an average paragraph length. Don’t go off on long tangents that are off subject. Be brief, and stay on point.
If you’re could use some seasoned advice on how to finish your screenplay, or on any Hollywood career issue, call for a free phone consult from a veteran screenwriter.