Saturday, January 1, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Staying productive

I would love to be able to dedicate a reasonable amount of time to my various writing projects every day. Unfortunately, that is rarely the way it works out. I have many things that require my time, not least of which is my regular job. Often I find that I only have 30 minutes or less when I am free and motivated to write every day.

It is not possible to reach the goals I have for my writing business on 30 minutes a day. To work through this problem I use a few tricks to maximize my productivity when I get the chance to write.

The most important factor in driving up my productivity is motivation. Being motivated to do the work needed makes it a lot easier to find time in the day to get it done. This is why everyone you ask will tell you that focusing on something you feel passionate about is the first critical step to success. When you are passionate about your subject, motivation comes on it's own.

The most successful part of my writing business so far is article writing. While article writing can be a good way to promote your own work and topics, it more often requires that you write for some other purpose. To be successful writing articles you have to hit popular trends and topics and write to place your content in search engines. Most of the time the article I would like to write is not the same as the article that will make me money, money it turns out is a terrible source of motivation.

My technique for overcoming lulls in motivation is centered around maximizing the time I am able to set aside for writing. When I have a good few hours free I like to sit down with my list of article ideas and write fast and furious. I don't worry about formating, spelling or wording. My focus is on writing fast and starting as many articles as I can. I don't even do any research for what I am writing, I just go with the best flow I can build up.

At the end of a session like this I can have anything from 3 sort of complete articles to 10 or more files that can only be described as very rough drafts. There are many benefits to these bursts of productivity. When a less productive day comes along, which is almost always the very next day, I already have most of the work done for completing an article. Even if I only have 10 minutes to dedicate to writing I can pick one that I almost have completed, fix the spelling issues that are bound to be numerous and restructure the parts that don't read the way I would like. If the article needs researching facts, I can take care of that as well. That way I can publish a high quality article that day even if my time is very limited.

There are some great synergy effects in place with this method. The process forces me to re-read every article I write. This step is extremely important if you are focused on quality, but I am prone to skip it if I finish an article in one sitting.

Another huge benefit of this approach is the constant output of articles even on days where I do very little writing. This sense of productivity is motivating in itself. It is always more satisfying to see a definite result of your work (such as a published article) than to spend day after day working on the same thing that never seems to get done.

Finally, it is a lot easier to get into writing mode when you start from a solid draft. On a slow day productivity wise trying to start an article or blog post from a blank document can be very hard.

This method lets me maximize the value of my most productive sessions. A solid writing session like this can provide the framework for a whole weeks worth of writing work. Most importantly, it helps reduce those days where I have time and opportunity to write, but can't find the motivation to get started.

Do you have a favorite way to stay motivated with your work? If so I would love to hear about it in the comments section.

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