It’s a week and a day to Christmas everyone, how has your writing game been so far? Have you been writing this holiday? It seems writing with so many activities towards the end of the year can be pretty disorientating.
For me, it’s been exhausting, trying to balance writing with everything else. So far, this is what I have been doing.
- Think to write
You’d be surprised how often your thoughts can lead to you writing. I tried it today. I thought about writing this post and here I am doing so.
- Don’t feel bad about it
If you’re not feeling up to writing this holiday, don’t worry. You’re on holiday for a reason. Please relax and enjoy it. Enjoy fun, family, friends and meeting people, its great aphrodisiac for writing.
You may just wake up one morning and realize that you have so much to write about especially related to your holiday; maybe, you had to catch a flight and missed it by falling flat on your bum at the entrance to the airport because you were too much in an hurry. Yeah these things can happen to anyone and you can write about it.
- It’s okay to be flexible
Did you notice my last post was on a Monday. That’s how flexible I’m letting myself be this holiday. You’d see my posts on Fridays, Sundays and maybe Tuesdays the way I’m going.
- Listening to Bamidele’s advice
I got an email from Bamidele recently that really got my attention and I’ve been trying to follow his advice. This is it;
You’re super busy, I know.
Probably with a day job, academics or some other responsibility.
With so much responsibility and stuff fighting for your time, how do you effectively make this writing stuff work for you?
I’ve found myself in the exact same situation recently — with numerous exams, an increasingly growing offline business that I manage (on track to be at least 10 times bigger by next year!), and other responsibilities, exactly how do I manage my time?
First, I think I’ve been super productive lately; by “super productive,” I mean I write at least two articles every day — in fact, I had written three articles by 8AM this morning — and I’m still able to slot in an hour of exercise into my day, and that’s not counting the other responsibilities I mentioned earlier. I do this EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I literally have more responsibility than I’ve ever had, yet I feel — and I am — more productive than ever before. I get my tasks done every day.
Here’s how I do it…
1. I wake up super early. I try to be up by five in the morning — research shows that most people are at their peak productivity early in the morning. Research also shows that our first two waking hours are the most productive. I’ve found this to be true for me. For me, there’s no point staying up late at night because I won’t be as productive; my “day” usually starts by nine in the morning, but waking up by five allows me to do all that matter before my “day” start.
2. I discarded email. If you’ve emailed me at a point and did not get a response, it’s not because I do not care — I do read every email, I just can only reply to a few. It’s a battle towards being more productive, and I feel it is best to practically discard emails for the following reasons:
•Stuff that matter rarely happen there. Most of the times, people ask me questions I can’t answer or questions I’ve answered before in an article on the blog. If someone can’t take a few minutes to research if I’ve answered a question before, why should I take the time to reply to the person’s email? It’s worth noting that paying customers are usually an exception.
•I get way more emails than I can handle. This has to do with growing popularity — it becomes complicated due to this feeling that I have to reply to all emails. Thank God I realized I don’t!
•Email doesn’t really matter. I’d delete mine if I could, but then clients have to be able to reach out to me… That’s really the only thing holding me back. If I one day stop doing client work, I just might ditch email altogether!
3. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Trump: Okay, so I noticed I spend way more time on Facebook, Gmail and Twitter lately. Even more important, I’ve been searching for “Trump” every other hour to see what the U.S. President-elect has to say (you know, because it’s usually controversial!). Realizing this, I set a time limit of 5 minutes — from midnight to 7PM at night — on Facebook, Twitter and Google (which is what I usually use to see the latest Trump is saying… hehe!). Using the Stay focused app in Google Chrome, I set a maximum time limit of five minutes for Google, Twitter, Gmail and Facebook combined. I can’t spend more than five minutes on all four sites until I get unlocked by 7PM.
With fewer distractions, I’ve been more productive.
4. Exercise: I do REALLY strenuous exercise every day… for about an hour! I feel like giving up half way through, but I force myself. It’s worth it, though: I’m building my endurance, resilience and focus as a result of the strenuous exercises I’m doing, and it’s so worth it. I work from 5 am to about 7 – 9pm lately, and I don’t feel tired. I love it, and the exercise plays no small role in this!
5. Think about time: Thinking. It can be very powerful. I used to think I didn’t have enough time, until I sat down to think: 5AM to 7PM is 14 hours. That’s A LOT of time! Most people waste half of that on social media daily — without even knowing it!
Even if you have a 9 to 5 job, you can still set aside 5AM to 8AM for writing related stuff. That’s a WHOPPING three hours. Man, it’s a lot of time.
Just thinking about time let’s you realize you have a lot of time. It’s highly unlikely you’re unable to get 2 – 3 hours out of your day. We all have more time than we think we do. It’s all about mindset.
As you can see, the above are some practical, not-so-tough things you can do immediately. And I’m sure doing them will give you a significant productivity boost. Get to work, and use these tips to boost your productivity!
CEO, Writers in Charge
How have you been writing during the holidays?
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Have a lovely week everyone
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