World of Words Posts

"Working Smarter, Not Harder!"

Tip #14

Hello Fellow Writers!

Have you ever sat down to begin what you are sure will be an awesome writing session only to have to jump right back up to use the bathroom or fix yourself something to eat or drink? Or maybe you forgot to run that errand, or you forgot to wash that load of clothes. Maybe you just got into a really good writing rhythm when your phone starts ringing, or those social media alerts start pouring in? Any of this is enough to ruin your writing session.

Today’s post is about preparing yourself to work in a smarter way that allows you to maximize your time so that you can be more productive instead of working in an unorganized, distracted manner that has you feeling like you are working hard, when you really aren’t producing as much as you could and should be.

Whether you are a full-time writer or a part-time writer who is scratching and clawing to become a full-time writer, it’s a safe bet that there are never enough hours in the day for you to get enough done to satisfy your hunger for creating. Well, I won’t claim to have some sort of magic time-machine "thingamajig" that will allow us to freeze time or add hours to the end of the day. However, I do want to emphasize the importance of working smarter and not harder and how it can help you become more productive.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t work hard. What I’m saying is we shouldn’t work hard just to end up with nothing (or minimal results) to show for it. So how do we avoid this issue? By working smarter. How do we work smarter? Well, it starts with preparation.

Preparation includes treating your writing session like a work shift instead of a casual exercise. What do I mean by that? Well, for those of us who work 9 to 5's, we know there is a certain amount of preparation required before we begin each workday, right? Without this preparation, we will most likely run into unnecessary problems that will impact our productivity and potentially derail or at least negatively impact our entire day.

For example, we may pick out our clothes and pack a lunch the night before. We try to make sure the car’s gas tank is full, so we don't have to stop on the way into work. Maybe we check the traffic report to see if there are any delays on our commuting route. We make sure our keys, wallet, and cell phone are right where we need them to be. And all of this happens before we even get to our job, right? Ideally, this preparation becomes a daily routine we follow to begin our workdays the right way. In fact, this preparation and routine key to us having a successful work day.

We should treat our writing sessions the exact same way to ensure maximum productivity. Writing is no different than a regular 9 to 5 job, or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s crucial that we establish and follow a preparation routine before we even think about sitting down to write. Following this routine will allow us to sit down to write and hopefully not be interrupted or be forced to get up again until we have finished our session.

We’ll expand more on working smarter and not harder in future posts on organization and writer’s tools, but for now, just remember that preparation and routine are key to removing all distractions and preparing yourself to enjoy a productive writing session.  

Write on!