I’m passionate about content writing. However, I have not been consistent in writing content, which is quite ironic.
When you have a passion for something, it should be easy to do. Yet, writing proves very challenging to me.
I also know what I need to do to become a better writer and to succeed in writing. Yet taking action is hard.
Our minds are designed to prevent us from doing things that could harm us or cause any form of discomfort to us.
So when you’re, when your mind perceives writing as challenging, it convinces you out of doing it.
And that is precisely what has happened to me.
Nevertheless, in a bid to break this habit, I’m going to share these tips that I need to put into practice. I hope to push these tips to the top of my mind and put them into practice by sharing.
And I also want you to take note of them because putting into action these tips is all you need to improve your productivity as a writer.
Forgive my lack of puns and pretty language; I intend to be straight to the point, that and that alone. Enticing language is imminent as I hone my writing skills.
11 Tips to improve writing productivity
1. Have a goal and plan.
It’s very rare to meet an achiever with no goal. Successful people always know where you’re going. Great writers included
So before you even think of becoming a more productive writer, you must list down and identify the goals that you want to achieve from your writing.
Start with understanding your audience, especially if you’re a content writer or a niche blogger. Your audience is the other people you’re writing for.
When you fully comprehend who they are and their pain points or challenges, you can create a goal that focuses on solving their challenges.
With your goals ready, create a content plan.
A content plan is a system outlining the type and format of content you’re going to produce while a content calendar allocates dates for every piece of content, you want to write.
A content calendar gives you a clear path by laying down every step you’ll take to achieve a specific goal.
Every day you wake up, you’ll not sit on your desk and wonder what you’re going to write about because you already have a plan set out.
This removes the hustle of constantly thinking and researching what to write, saving you a lot of time and energy.
2. Make writing a habit.
Many people take a bath every day in the evening when we’re out of work. It’s second to nature.
Because we’ve made it a habit. We don’t have to sit down and decide why and when we’ll take a bath after a tiring day.
This routine system can be applied to writing and contribute the most to making us better writers. When it becomes a habit, you never have to wait for inspiration to write.
You start by setting a daily limit of words you must write and make sure you find time to achieve it whether you like it or not.
It can be daunting to have a daily writing routine during the first few days or weeks of writing. But you can set a realistic and achievable target earlier and push yourself in to achieve these tiny goals.
Then with time, advance your goals. Make them more challenging, and push yourself to beat them.
A writing routine improves writing productivity and ensures consistency in content production which is a critical success factor in content marketing.
3. Setting a time to write.
It’s essential to set a specific time you’ll write every single day no matter what. And this time should be allocated specifically for that task, and you should not be vulnerable to any interruptions.
For instance, you can set to write in the first hour after waking up, when you’ll not be distracted from your writing.
Take account of the fact that people have different optimum productivity periods. Some people can produce the most creative and engaging content in the morning hours, while others are more productive in the evening just before they sleep.
So you have to identify which time that you’re most productive and allocate time for writing.
Then make sure you determine how many words you’ll write within what duration. Parkinson’s law states that the amount of work expands into the time allocated.
If you set to write a thousand words in a day, you’ll take the entire day to write 1000 words. Well, that’s not productivity. Set one hour and get done with the work much faster.
Lastly, write every day at that allotted time.
4. Have a strategy of writing.
Most writers sit down and start writing without strategizing where they’re headed. This can be liberating as it allows your creativity to wander boundlessly.
But sometimes, in fact, most of the time, it’s best to have a strategy that breaks down your writing into steps.
There are four activities that are involved in content writing.
Having these steps in mind breaks down the seemingly momentous task of writing into smaller, manageable tasks.
Set time for every single activity in your writing process. And as you do the work, whether it’s researching, outlining, writing, or editing, focus on your goals to solve a challenge your audience persona has.
Direct your mind on what you’re writing about and try to solve it in the least words possible but in an enticing and engaging language. That’s the only way you’ll keep the attention of your readers throughout.
Don’t focus on the number of words; focus on solving the exact problem.
And never edit while writing.
We have a tendency to try perfecting our writing which doesn’t let us get our ideas out fast. We criticize our work and edit anything that seems out of line.
This constantly shifts our mind from ideation to editing and vice versa, which by definition is multitasking, the enemy of productivity.
Writing without any distraction, self-induced or not, helps us get through the most critical part. Once you’re done letting out the ideas, you can edit, knowing you’re done with what seemed to be the most challenging task.
But there is a much better way to write which can boost your productivity ten folds, and it’s the next point.
5. Dictate your content.
Most people write through typing. In my view, this is a prolonged process.
The fastest man types 216 words per minute. Most people will never reach that speed, with the average typing speed ranging around 40 words per minute.
Yet, we can speak 120 to 200 words per minute. That’s 3 to 5 times faster! Why not harness this ability to create your content much faster using dictation.
Through dictation, you let out your ideas better through self-expression of a concept you understand.
You assume you’re talking to somebody and thus try to express yourself to make it easily understandable by your audience persona.
This forces you to research and gather as much information as possible because you cannot dictate the content that you don’t understand.
This is why you must set time to do your research well and gather information before outlining to have a good grasp of what you’ll write about (dictate)
6. Reclaim your concentration.
Nowadays, the constant pestering and an unlimited number of distractions, primarily due to access to information through the internet, have significantly reduced people’s concentration time to a goldfish.
And writers have not been spared. Considering we use our computers to write, and in many cases, have an internet connection, we remain susceptible to distractions such as email notifications, social media, and clickbait content.
To become a more productive writer, we must reclaim our concentration abilities. And it starts with taking away the most potent distractors, such as the phone and social media access.
So before you start writing, make sure that your phone is away from you.
And if you’re using your phone to dictate, have it on airplane mode. That way, you’ll have no room for any interferences and thus remain focused.
In addition, you can improve your concentration by
- Setting an internet diet; limit the amount of time that you’ll spend on the internet.
- Going out for walks without your phone
- Going to the gym to exercise
- Reading books and newspapers
Indulging into exciting activities that get you out of your comfort zone can rewire your concentration patterns and break your addiction to distractions that improve your productivity.
7. Get an accountability partner.
Human beings have a natural tendency to avoid things that gets us out of our comfort zone. That’s why we all need somebody who can keep us in check—an accountability partner.
An accountability partner ensures you strive to meet your daily goals within time.
A good partner should be well conversant with your work because they can criticize your work accordingly to help you become a better writer.
8. Create a reward system.
A reward system or an incentive is something that motivates you to do your job.
Remember, as kids, our parents motivated us to study hard by promising to buy us gifts. Then we would get back to school and study hard to pass our exams and earn gifts.
How did this system work so effectively? Because we love incentives.
This same system of incentivizing work can increase the productivity of writing.
It starts by setting an achievable writing target; for instance, you can set to write 1000 words, or 10,000 words, for full-time writers in a day.
Then decide the time that you need to do the work. Remember point 3?
If you don’t set a time, for instance, you say that you’re going to write something in one day and have it span over the entire day, it will take you the entire day to write that content yet.
But if you set that time down to around two hours, then within those two hours, you’ll get the work done in 2 hours.
So be specific and time-bound.
Next, determine your reward. Come up with something that you probably find very rewarding.
I, for instance, enjoy watching epic movie monologues such as Leonardo De Caprio’s speech in The Wolf of Wallstreet and Al Pacino’s court address in Scent of a Woman.
Your preferred reward might be having a chicken nugget or going for a swim.
Choose one thing and make sure it’s something you’ll desire to have every day. Then get to work and only reward yourself once you’ve accomplished the task.
Once you start meeting your goal, consistently push your limits, get out of your comfort zone and see what you do. That’s the only way you’ll see an improvement.
9. Have repercussions for failed goals.
So besides having your rewards, it is also necessary to have repercussions if you don’t achieve your goals.
While rewards can push us to achieve our goals, understanding the repercussions you’ll have if you don’t reach a specific purpose can motivate you even more.
This can be something as simple as piling the work for the next day. So if you only wrote 500 words today, out of 1000 words, make the next day’s target 1500 words.
Also, having a calendar where you mark off days you’ve met your goals can set you on a roller-coaster of productivity as you fear messing up with the chain of achievement.
10. Read a lot.
You cannot write well if you don’t read a lot. Reading widely
- Exposes you to new ideas
- Exposes you to new vocabulary
- Expands your creativity,
- Challenges you to write better content based on the content you read
Reading is the foundation of good writing. Most of the best writers in the world are renowned readers. And also, the most successful people, such as Warren Buffett, spend some time every day reading.
Reading exposes you to information which most people will not have and makes you a knowledgeable person.
You’ll learn to put words right and communicate better through writing.
11. Believe in yourself.
Don’t expect yourself to become a better and more productive person if you have a negative mindset.
I realized that I don’t write content consistently because I tell myself that I’m a lazy person. I’m working on changing this mentality.
I believe that while I’m a very ordinary person who doesn’t like doing things that get me out of my comfort zone.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m a lazy person. If I have the right tools and the right incentives and repercussions in mind, I do the work. I remember as an online writer, I always found a way to finish all articles in time, no matter how daunting it got
My reward was the monthly payment that I was getting, and the repercussions were the lousy reputation I would create with my client, which will consequently lead me to lose my work as a writer.
A lot was at stake, so I had to believe in myself, and I did the work as required.
We need to implement these tips if we want to be more productive. It is only through action that you will achieve the goals you want in life.
Writing is not a challenging task. You need to do something regularly to make it seem easier and become better at it.