Productivity

How To Have A Productive Day

Or at least a semi-productive one.

Feel free to use what works and discard what doesn’t.

  • Wake up early. Earlier than you normally do. That way, you have more time. In a perfect world, you’d go to bed earlier the night before.
  • Tackle the most difficult task first. Especially if you’ve been procrastinating. Get it out of the way. At the very least, start something.
  • Bunch things together. For instance, let’s assume you need to use the computer for a bunch of tasks. Try to complete all three at once rather than turning on your computer multiple times during the day. Get all your groceries in one trip. Run a bunch of errands together. Pay your bills at the same time.
  • Break up big projects into small tasks. If only so you’re not as overwhelmed by all you have to do.
  • Have incentives. Motivate yourself to work hard with rewards. It can be a piece of candy or a night out with friends.
  • Multi-task, don’t multi-focus. It’s almost impossible to focus on two or more tasks and do them well. It is possible to do two things that don’t split your attention or require intense concentration though. For example, listen to a podcast while washing the dishes.
  • Get rid of distractions. Go to another room that doesn’t have a tablet, TV, etc. Ask a family member to change the Wi-Fi password. Or get a friend to hide your smartphone.

Here’s to having a productive day year.

Writing

How To Make Writing A Habit And Maintain It

I have many bad habits, but I also have a few good ones.

This is my advice for building a habit like writing and not breaking it three days in.

Be realistic.

Especially when you’re first starting out. You don’t want to set your sights so high that you have trouble reaching them. That can get discouraging real fast. Look at your life and lifestyle right now. How much time can you realistically commit to writing without letting other things slip or worse, suffer? It’s important you’re honest with yourself when making beginning a new habit.

Block out time.

Whether it’s ten minutes or two hours. Your creative time is sacred. Unless your house is burning down, don’t get up from your seat until you’re done.

Set goals.

Short and long term. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Maybe you want to work for half an hour or perhaps write a thousand words. Besides, it isn’t as daunting to write 500 words every day as it is writing a 50,000 word novel. Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish ultimately gives you smaller benchmarks to hit with each writing session. At the very least, you’ll feel like you’re getting things done slowly but surely. It all adds up over the course of a year.

Track your habit.

There are a number of ways to do this. A notebook. An app on your phone. After a few days, you might feel less inclined to break your streak. Hopefully, you’ll push through and keep going even on days you don’t want to.

Hold yourself accountable.

Better yet find a friend to make sure you follow through with your habits and goals. Have someone check in often by asking you about your progress. You can always return the favour.

Use incentives.

Rewards are a great motivator when it comes to getting work done. Take advantage of the things that make you more willing to put pen to paper.

Have non-incentives.

On the other hand, you can have consequences when you procrastinate or make excuses. Monetary ones work well. Give your mom, sister, whoever five dollars every time you skip out on writing. Suddenly you aren’t as inclined to miss a session, huh?

Although I use writing as an example, the advice above can apply for almost any habit you’re trying to establish.

Good luck maintaining your habits!

Reading

6 Rewards Of Reading

  1. You learn a lot.
  2. You meet new people.
  3. You are a better writer. 
  4. You travel to different worlds. 
  5. You become more empathetic.
  6. You can be my best and only friend.
Writing

5 Ways Writers Can Beat Procrastination

  1. Make to-do lists.
  2. Make plans.
  3. Make a schedule.
  4. Make rewards.
  5. Make new memories.

Regardless of what I do, I can’t beat procrastination. So maybe you shouldn’t listen to me. Now or ever. If you used to, stop. If you never did, don’t start.

Productivity

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

I want 2016 to be the year you follow through with your goals.

Here’s what I recommend:

Build a routine.

If you sleep around the same time every night, why don’t you write at the same time every day? This won’t always work out, but when it does, you’re golden.

Build a support system.

It’s enough to have just one person believe in you and support you. Never let that person go. Don’t give them a reason to stop believing and supporting you either.

Build in rewards.

Reward yourself well. Reward yourself often. Don’t feel guilty or bad.

Build in possible punishments.

They can be as extreme as you’d like. Just don’t hurt yourself, your sanity, and your bank account too much.

Keep building!

Writing

Rewards vs Sacrifices of Participating in NaNoWriMo

Since NaNoWriMo is starting soon, I wanted to give everyone a taste of what to expect.

Reward: Pride (sense of accomplishment)

Imagine how you’ll feel after you type up the last word following 49,999 words of incoherent nonsense. Imagine proclaiming to the world you wrote a “novel” (I’m using the term loosely) in a month. That’s something to brag about to all your friends (and enemies). Who knows maybe your future children or grandchildren too. And nothing in this world rivals the feeling of setting a goal as well as accomplishing it.

Sacrifice: Time (lack of it)

Learning to prioritize is crucial when you commit to writing every day. Wait, you aren’t thinking of writing 10,000 words in 5 days are you? On top of what you do every day, whether you’re a student going to school or a mother of two, you’ll need to squeeze in a chunk of your day for NaNoWriMo. Time is not on your side. I’ll let you in on a secret: time is never on your side. Yet somehow the best novelists manage to sacrifice a quarter of their life slaving away at projects that may or may not be a hit. Regardless, words won’t magically appear on the page—you have to put them there. That’s Writing Tip#110 if you’re keeping track. Don’t give me that look. I’m a writer, not a magician. I can’t be original all the time. Sometimes, you just have to reuse your own content, which ties in beautifully with Writing Tip#109.

Reward: The Experience (of a lifetime)

The experience of NaNoWriMo is like none other. As fun and frustrating as writing can be, National Novel Writing Month intensifies these and other emotions three-fold. The time crunch motivates you (aha, another award) while punishing your brain to churn out more pages (…a sacrifice?) Really this is one of those you-gotta-be-there-moments to understand what I’m babbling about. If nothing else, the experience will improve your writing or as I like to call it “your ability to string together unintelligible gibberish…” Got it?

What? Were you expecting a second sacrifice? Unfortunately, I don’t have another one. That’s a testament to how amazing NaNoWriMo is. If you haven’t attempted it, try it. If you have, kudos to you.

Ready or not, National Novel Writing Month is 19 days away.

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