Do you have a daily writing habit?
If you give yourself up to the whims of the day, the whims will win every time. Distraction will become your guiding force and a day lost is will be your only gain. Productivity comes from taking control of your day and not allowing other forces to mold and shape your actions. Developing a daily, weekly, and monthly routine is one way to help you shape the days and their results.
How do you answer the call to write?
As writers we feel the urge to produce. It’s a natural outgrowth of being creators. It’s often easy for us to get the big ideas, the heartfelt stories, the characters so alive to us we know they will walk off the page into our reader’s minds and hearts. But it’s that day to day living that trips us up. We often find ourselves in an internal tug of war with our need to produce or the call to write versus the day’s loud claims and shiny lures. How do we resist the siren calls that each day brings?
Do you include writing in your daily plan?
For me it’s a matter of developing and following a daily routine that guides me through the day and helps me stay on my personal writer’s path. Each writer has a distinct path with its own destination. Establishing a personal daily routine is a way to stay out of the weeds and keep forward movement. Does each day have to be the same as the one before? No. How the days in a week or a month are dedicated and how they are broken down is up to you, but a well-thought out plan will help ensure that the writing and all necessary tasks get done.
What’s your personal writing Waterloo?
You are in control of your writing life
You define your goals and needed tasks. You take control of your days. Create a goal, map out a plan, determine the tasks, and develop a road map that will take you there. Bank in time to feed the muse, move the body, treat the mind, and always remember to breathe.
My daily productivity routine includes writing
Before the caregiver role became so central to my life, my daily routine was much different. Over time I’ve had to adapt, and along the way I’ve taken note of what works now and what has changed and no longer is of any help. My routine takes in the reality of the day and day’s demands but still makes room for me to move forward with my dreams, goals, plans and tasks.
Does it happen exactly like this each and every day? No. Real life Interruptus is ever present. But do have a framework with an intention which is a huge step toward becoming a productive writer. This is how I define my way to productivity right now.
- 7:30 am – Wake up but often stay in bed and read or make notes for the day.
- 8:00 am – The day officially begins when I put the dogs out and open the house. My daily house ritual is to get the papers, start the kettle for tea and coffee, feed the cats, and take my mom her morning tea and paper. Let the dogs in and feed them.
- 8:30 am – Take my coffee and plop down in front of the computer. This is the first hour of writing. where I’ll work on a blog post, develop preliminary scene notes, outline or write an article, or jump in and write. Since I time write, I set a timer and commit to working for 45 minutes. This is my power hour and tends to set the tone for the day. If I get distracted or off course here, it doesn’t bode well for the day.
- 9:15 am – Here I stop and do some kind of daily reading in a book and/or online.
- 9:45 am –Breakfast time for mom. This is when I usually check emails for the first time while she has her breakfast. Like many others, I like the GTD way of handling emails by taking care of anything immediate but it will take 2 minutes or longer to answer, the email is turned into a task and put on my main to do list.
- 10:30 am – 1:30 pm – This is where I can work on the main focus of the day. I set the timer for 45 minute increments and go. During the fifteen minute breaks I make coffee, check on my mom, let the dogs out. The important thing is that I have move away from the desk and move around. Rinse and repeat two more times.
- 1:30 pm – This is my official lunch break. I let the dogs out, feed psycho kitty, make my mom’s lunch and mine.
- 2:30 – 3pm – This is my email/social media check-in #2. I’ll also surf for articles, ideas, and inspiration. I use Evernote and Pinterest to bookmark.
- 3pm — 6pm – Work at the computer for the rest of the day in 45 minute increments with 15 minute breaks. I work on projects, make phone calls, handle house business, and do wahtever else I need to do. Each increment is dedicated to a type of work whether it’s writing or house tasks or other necessary items. If I have to do phone calls I do them before the work or immediately after. I’m not a phone person so they are kept to a minimum.
- 6pm – 7pm – Last call for emails. Check off all the daily tasks completed during the day in my big day calendar. Move undone items to the next day. At the end of the day I look at what I accomplished and then come up with one word that captures the meaning of the day. So it can be “house” for dedicated to house stuff, “writing” for writing related projects, “errands,” etc. That way I can tell if I’m staying on track or straying off my game plan. This is a good time review and note anything for the next day in the calendar.
- 7:30 – 10 pm – Depending on the day, this is when I read, watch TV, and do a lot of house cleaning, dog bathing and grooming, etc. I am not usually at the computer and don’t check emails or social media sites. I am not usually doing any major writing unless I have a specific project demanding the time.
Share below how you carve out your days and night and bank in writing time.