I fight for each word I write. It’s a constant battle against life and work. Every minute I can scrape up to work is an uncut gem waiting to be polished. The rarity of my writing time saddens me a great deal. Oh I’m constantly working as I said yesterday, but I’m also raging war on life as I do it. Those few moment’s where I only have to worry about the words are sickeningly short and so far apart I pull muscles trying to get from one to the other. Because of this I must use every second to the best of my ability.
I’ve tried many ways to get productive over the years and a few really work for me. The past few weeks have been one struggle to write after another due to constant interruptions, lack of support and working a “non-job.” Thus I’ve really had to learn to be productive in the tiny bits of writing time I have and I’m going to share with you today those little things I’ve picked up that let me get work done in 5 to 10 minute increments.
1) Learn short hand: This works well if you write by hand. You can flush out the code as you type it up. However, you need to be careful if you use this method. Use a code you won’t forget or keep a key handy. Otherwise, you may end up writing something and have no idea what it means. Example. Q wt 2 Je & :* Y 10ly on Y chk. This is a short hand sentence I wrote a while ago. I still have no idea what it means because I didn’t keep a key or use a code I could remember. Any idea’s what it might mean?
2) Set up an Inbox: Figure out what you want or need to get done either the night before or the morning of. Once you know what needs to get done gather up everything you’ll need to do them. This works both in hard copy and on the computer. I use a file folder and put everything I need to work on in it at the end of every day and keep my in-box with me at all times. I put the item that needs to get done ASAP first and sort the rest by priority. When I have a spare minute I can easily grab the next thing to be done and start working. This saves me from wasting time trying to figure out what I need to do. You need to be careful if you use this method. When you set up your in-box keep in mind what you can realistically get done in that day. If you fill your in-box with more than you can get done you can become discouraged.
3) Write up work orders: This method can go hand in hand with the in-box but can also sand alone. I recommend writing them up at night. Yes, this takes a small amount of time you could spend on writing, however, you’d be amazed at how motivating these can be. These really come in handy if, like me, you have more than one WIP. You can draw up one for each project giving yourself direction in your work for the next day.
4) Get dressed: Yes, I went there, and I’m guilty of this as well. Some day’s I just want to lounge around in my PJ’s. I mean, I’m not going anywhere, I don’t expect anyone to stop by and it’s comfy so why not? I’ll tell you way not, it’s all about mind-set. I have found that by getting dressed I get more done in the time I have. I don’t put on a business suit or anything like that, but even a pair of ratty jeans makes a huge difference. When we hang around in our PJ’s we have a mind-set of taking it easy, relaxing and going with the flow. That’s a great thing, don’t get me wrong. Some days we just need a nice easy day. However this is detrimental to productivity. Yes we can get a lot of work done in our bath robe, yet the sense of urgency just isn’t there. Pull on a pair of comfy jeans, a nice t-shirt and a baggy sweater and your mind-set changes drastically.
5) Turn up the music: I would suggest something with an up beat tempo. Your mind will adjust to the quickness on the sounds and work faster and harder. An added bonus if you have small kids at home is that they could become distracted by the music and might leave you alone for a longer period of time. I use this with my little one all the time. I put on music right after I set myself up to write and all I have to do with her is every now and then look up and tell her to dance. She love’s it and I get more work done then I would other wise have been able to.
And last but not least
6) Unplug: Disconnect your computer from the internet, unplug your TV and hide your game controllers. This method will drastically improve your productivity. Even those with super self-control when it comes to distractions like this will see an improvement in how much they can get done at one go. There won’t be that temptation to check twitters, watch the news to play just one level. Even fighting the temptation to do so and winning takes time you could spend on your work. If they are not there to fight your mind wont even go there.