Sometimes the moons and stars align and information that is relevant to your life bombards your week, directing you onto paths you should take.
Well, this happened to me.
Time management is one of my ongoing struggles, as with probably most of you reading this.
So, what do you do?
How do you create more hours in the day?
How do you accomplish all the writing and marketing tasks you must, aside from keeping up with everything else in your life?
Ah, the $25,000 question.
Here’s how to keep your writers’ focus and boost you writing productivity:
Productivity Strategy Number One – Keep a List and Stick to It
I found a great site (JamesWedmore.com) that offers some very useful content.
Interestingly, the post I read on this site pertained to being productive.
This was the fourth article I came across within a few days dealing with time management, prioritizing, and productivity.
Part of the content discussed a $25,000 lesson by public relations and efficiency expert Ivy Lee.
The story (true, just not sure of the exact account) goes that Charles Schwab, steel magnate, wanted to increase his company’s efficiency, so he contacted Lee.
Lee requested 15 minutes with each of Schwab’s managers.
Schwab asked how much would it cost.
Lee told him that after three months, if he saw productivity improvement, he could send Lee whatever he thought the training was worth.
Three months later, Schwab sent Lee a $25,000 check.
This was back around 100 years ago. According to DollarTimes.com, that would now be worth a little over $500,000.
So, the $25,000 lesson?
It’s reported that Lee said to write a list of six must-do items that each manager needed to accomplish the next day, in order of importance.
Whatever wasn’t completed that day would go over onto the next day’s list of six must-do items.
According to JamesClear.com, Lee instructed:
-At the end of each day, write down the most important things you have to do the next day.
-Number them in the order of their true importance.
-The first thing the next morning, start working on an item Number 1, and stay with it until completed.
-Move on to item Number 2 until this task is completed, do the same with the remaining four.
-At the end of the day, move any items not completed to the next day’s six must-do items.
Don’t worry if you don’t complete everything on the schedule. At least you will have completed the most important projects before getting to the less important ones.
Pretty simple, right?
Simple and powerful.
Having a list of what you need to do gives you focus and that focus helps clear your mind, which in turn boosts productivity, allowing you to get the job done.
One thing James Wedmore said that I thought is also a good idea is to have a “brain dump” folder or notebook.
If something pops into your head that you don’t want to forget, put in in the ‘brain dump file.’
This too helps keep your mind clear of clutter.
I call my ‘brain dump file’ My To Do List.
If anything pops into my head, I open the file and type it in, leaving my mind free of the worry of remembering it.
Productivity Strategy Number Two – Meditate
If you make time for meditation, you’ll have more time.
I read this or something like it recently, but forgot where or who wrote it (if you know the author, please let me know, so I can give attribution). A case in point of information overload.
But, how can you have more time if you take time out of your already hectic day to meditate?
An article at HealthyBrains.org, noted that the average person has 70,000 thoughts per day.
Since there are 1,440 minutes in a day and 86,400 seconds, this means you’re having thoughts almost every second of every day.
Is it any wonder many of us have trouble focusing?
Meditation is another mind-clearing tool that allows the brain to take a breather.
It helps create a calmer you, thus leading to a more focused and productive you.
My acupuncturist, who was a neurologist in China and has been practicing Chinese medicine for over 40 years, says that the number one thing you can do for your health is to meditate.
Give it a Shot – Incorporate these two productivity strategies into your writing and marketing work week.
Every Sunday, make a list of the top six must-do items for Monday.
Don’t just breeze through your list of to-dos, take the time to think whether a particular item is REALLY needed.
Will it move your goals forward? Will it earn you money?
At the bottom of your to-do list for each day, add: TAKE 15-30 MINUTES TO MEDITATE. Even five minutes a day is better than none.
Do this for 90 days, as Lee instructed, and see what happens.
Then let us know – leave a comment!
Note: I also read that Lee sought Schwab out to propose he could increase his company’s productivity. Whether Lee sought out Schwab or Schwab sought out Lee, it worked.
This article was first published at: https://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/2015/10/are-your-writing-and-marketing-efforts-productive-2-productivity-tips/
-http://www.jameswedmore.com/how-to-be-productive/ (link no longer works)
I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. I can help turn your story into a book you’ll be proud to be author of, one that’s publishable and marketable.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can give me a call at 834---347---6700
Or, if you’d rather do-it-yourself, check out my book, How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book.
Writers need to be tough. It’s not an easy arena to be in. Did you know that writers get so many rejections there have actually been studies done on it. According to a Huffington Post article, “96% of authors seeking agents are rejected.” (1)
That’s pretty severe.
Another article at Writer’s Digest says, “don’t even think about giving up until you’ve queried at least one hundred agents.” (2).
But, what if Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen gave up after 100 rejections. They were rejected 144 times before landing a publishing contract.
So, how does a writer become successful?
Well, there are at least 3 characteristics that go a long way in giving a writer a fighting chance.
Perseverance is probably the single most important factor. You can learn to write. You can improve your writing. You can submit you work more often. But, if you get discouraged when successes don’t come as fast as you’d like or expected, you may start writing less, you may give up.
This is where you need to persevere. Know that it’s not the best writers who succeed, it’ those who persevere.
From personal experience I can attest to this. I work in two niches. I did it for years with not much success. Then suddenly, clients began finding me and hiring me in one of those niches.
More often than not, success is just around the corner. You’ve got to persevere.
2. You MUST set goals.
While perseverance is an essential factor in writing success, without setting goals, what are you persevering toward? You need to be a goal setter.
Your goals need to be specific. What do you really want to succeed at?
Getting ongoing publishing contracts.
Getting freelance writing projects on a regular basis.
Supplementing your income.
Earning $50,000 per year. Earning $100,000 per year. Earning $500,000 per year. Being a millionaire.
Becoming a New York Times Best Seller.
I found it more tangible to create monthly income goals rather than yearly ones.
You need to find what your goals are and what strategy to use to obtain them. And, you need to make those goals visible. Create a vision board or write them down and read them every day.
One big pitfall in writing is not having focus.
I mentioned earlier that after years of struggling along, I began to get clients on a regular basis. And, I’ve gotten lots of return and series clients.
One important factor how this came about is I began to focus on one writing niche. I devoted the majority of my time and energy in that area and it paid off.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one writing niche, but if you want to succeed in something, you need to prioritize. You need to focus.
As my writing coach would say, focus on what’s making you money.
Get to work building these three characteristics and see if it doesn’t make a difference. And, let us know how you make out.