Moving the Goalposts: How to Be Productive and Reach Your Goals

How to Be Productive



Learning how to be productive is often more difficult than learning how to write. While every author has a different story to tell, there’s one common thread that binds us all — the struggle to stay productive and meet our writing goals. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a fledgling novice, finding the balance between creativity and productivity can be a challenge. Let’s explore strategies and techniques to help you unlock your productivity and make your writing goals a reality.

How to Be Productive: Setting the Stage for Success

  • Define Your Writing Goals: Before you get started, you must define your objective. Are you trying to complete a novel, write a collection of short stories, or compose a thoughtful work of non-fiction? Clearly defined goals are the first step toward productivity, and your goals will vary depending on your project.
  • Create a Writing Schedule: Consistency is the bedrock of productivity. Set aside dedicated writing time each day or week. Having a routine builds a writing habit, making it easier to stay on track. Always stick to your routine, even if you don’t feel inspired or creative.
  • Set Realistic Deadlines: While ambitious goals can be inspiring, they can also be overwhelming. Break your larger goals into manageable milestones and set realistic deadlines for each. Small wins lead to real progress and are always preferable to lofty, difficult-to-achieve goals.

Defeating Procrastination

  • Silence Your Inner Critic: The fear of imperfection often leads to procrastination. Remember that first drafts are meant to be rough and that perfection comes during the editing phase. Silence your inner critic and write freely. After all, mediocre writing is always better than no writing at all.
  • Combat Writer’s Block: When writer’s block strikes, don’t surrender. Try changing your writing environment, using prompts, or taking a brief break to reset your creativity. There’s no single cure for writer’s block, so feel free to try several approaches until you find one that works for you. Don’t give up — writer’s block can be one of the biggest hurdles in learning how to be productive, but it happens to us all.

Staying Organized and Inspired

  • Use Tools and Apps: Numerous writing tools and apps can help you stay organized and motivated. Tools like Scrivener, Evernote, or Trello can be invaluable for managing your work. Your organization doesn’t need to be high-tech — even marking your progress with a pencil and notepad can be valuable.
  • Set a Writing Space: Having a dedicated writing space, whether a cozy nook at home or a favorite café, can help you get into the writing mindset. Make it your creative sanctuary, and remove from it any potential distractions — including, if need be, your phone.
  • Surround Yourself with Inspiration: Stay inspired by reading diverse literature, engaging with art, or immersing yourself in nature. Inspiration is the fuel that powers your creativity, and there’s no such thing as too much.

Accountability and Support

  • Find a Writing Group: Joining a writing group or partnering with a writing buddy can provide accountability and feedback. Sharing your progress with others can be motivating, both for yourself and your writer companions.
  • Celebrate Your Achievements: Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments along the way. Reward yourself for meeting milestones, whether it’s a small treat, a day off, or a favorite beverage. Just don’t overdo it, or this solution could quickly turn into another hindrance to your writing.

Mastering Time Management

  • Eliminate Distractions: Identify your most significant distractions and find ways to minimize or eliminate them during your writing time. It could be your smartphone, social media, or household chores. (Don’t neglect those chores for long, though. In fact, maybe take care of those before you start writing.)
  • Practice the Pomodoro Technique: This time management method involves working in short, focused bursts (usually 25 minutes) followed by a short break. It can boost productivity and maintain your energy. The continuing cycle of work and rest also helps boost knowledge assimilation. Learn more about the Pomodoro Technique here.

Mindset Matters

  • Maintain a Growth Mindset: Embrace challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth. A growth mindset can help you persevere through tough times and stay motivated. When applied properly, the only possible failure is not trying at all. Learn more about nurturing a growth mindset here.
  • Visualize Your Success: Visualization can be a powerful tool. Imagine the satisfaction of achieving your writing goals and visualize your success to keep yourself motivated. Most importantly, visualize your finished book!

Self-Care for Writers

  • Prioritize Self-Care: Writing is a long process that requires endurance to complete. Prioritize self-care, including exercise, healthy eating, and ample sleep. A healthy body and mind lead to greater productivity.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help reduce stress and enhance your focus, keeping you on track with your writing goals.

Overcoming Writer’s Doubt

  • Fight Imposter Syndrome: Many writers face imposter syndrome – the feeling of not being good enough. Remember that while doubt is a natural part of the creative process, excessive self-doubt can torpedo any writing project. Have a bit of faith in your voice and vision.
  • Embrace Failure: Failure is not the end but a stepping stone to success. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or experience rejection. Each setback can teach you valuable lessons. Take a lesson from a certain painter and reframe your missteps as “happy little accidents.”

Embracing the Joy of Writing

  • Rediscover Your Passion: Amid the pursuit of productivity and goals, never forget the joy of writing itself. Reconnect with your passion, and let the process, not just the outcome, be your reward. The love of writing, after all, will only beget more writing, and this is key to learning how to be productive.
  • Share Your Journey: Sharing your writing journey with others, whether through blogs, social media, or writing communities, can provide valuable support and accountability.

As you learn how to be productive and reach your goals, remember that the road may be filled with detours and challenges. However, it’s these very experiences that shape your growth as an author.

Presto Page is here to support you every step of the way. Whether it’s self-publishing your work or providing writing resources, we’re your partner in this creative adventure.

Embrace productivity, cherish your creativity, and let your stories flow. The world is waiting to read your words. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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