As a writer, the hardest thing is not actually coming up with an idea for the content, but rather staying organized and avoiding procrastination. Writing can be tedious, and many people tend to avoid it at all cost until the very last minute. At that point, one is under pressure to complete the daily requirements, and instead of creating an excellent piece, the writer creates a jumbled version of what was supposed to be a cohesive text. To make it simpler, let’s take the author of this article as an example. She has spent hours watching Narcos and humoring other daily distractions, instead of completing the work she was required to complete, on time. And, truth to be told, sometimes the author of this article works well under pressure, but other times, she just lacks self-organization and discipline.
So, how do writers, especially freelance and creative writers, actually get the job done? How do they stop procrastinating and eventually complete their daily job requirements and tasks? Well, the secret lies in the following tips and trick the author of this article has come up with. Here’s a little sneak-peak; the piece I was supposed to finish is done since you’re reading it, so the tips are definitely efficient.
Night owl or Early bird
First of all, before you start with any type of self-organization, I believe that every writer out there should figure out whether they prefer working in the morning or in the night. This step is crucial if you want your self-organization process to bear fruit and actually turn into a working routine. Personally, it took me a while to figure out that I am a night owl; therefore, I organize my day in such way that I get to complete trivial tasks outside of work during the morning and noon, and in the evening, I start writing. This realization has helped me enormously, not just in regards to staying organized, but also productive and efficient in the quality and amount of the writing I produce daily. Finding your productivity zone, whether it is the morning or the late night, will surely bring out your best work.
Another thing I started using to my advantage is carrying around a notebook and index cards. I started using these little helping tools to keep track of the work I manage to complete and the work I still have to finish. Writing everything down gives you an outlook on the amount of work you have, the deadlines and of course, your free time. Not to mention, you can use the notebook to write down ideas for your content, or come up problem-solving methods and much more. I tend to write down, for example, all the deadlines I have for the week, and if I think of something that I might quickly forget, my notebook is there to keep it for me. The usefulness of a journal is endless, so make sure to get a cute little one you like, and use it as a way to have your brain, your work and your life organized at any time.
We are always and everywhere surrounded by numerous types of distraction; from our phones, TVs, online games, memes and even those little birds chirping by the window. Distraction killed the writer, is what I like to call this part of the self-organization process. So, if you want to stay organized, productive and focused on your work, make sure to find or create a distraction-free zone. According to The Writer’s Circle, there are many distraction-free tips and tricks for writers, like:
- Using a distraction-free text editor: WordPress allows you to activate a ‘distraction free writing’ mode that hides all the toolbars and buttons, and WriteRoom does the same for Macs. For PCs, Q10 uses the same distraction-free methods, and OmmWriter offers even calming backgrounds and audio to create a productive atmosphere for you.
- Blocking websites that you usually check: you can use numerous online systems and programs that can help you block out social media sites or any other site you personally find distracting. Apps like SelfControl are extremely helpful and specially designed for deterring distractions. Moreover, the majority of computers and other technological devices already have the ability to block out websites without extra software, however, if you want to be 100% sure, take the step further and disconnect from the Internet completely.
- Eating before writing: I admit; I don’t always follow this rule, but is definitely a must-do if you want to stay organized and free from distractions. Usually, when I’m trying to write, I always end up thinking of food, so to avoid such annoying thoughts, as well as a grumbling stomach, make sure to eat before writing. You can also eat during the breaks, but avoid searching for snacks or planning out meals during your work. That is simply a battle you’ll lose, and end up spending the day cooking and eating instead of writing.
Routine and Schedule
A good, self-aware and organized writer always plans out their schedule, even weeks in advance. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find this statement completely unrealistic and unattainable. However, there is some truth to it. By establishing a weekly schedule, you can be sure you’ll stay organized and able to complete everything on time, while still having room to wiggle around when you feel like it. Having a regular schedule will also create a routine in your life. It is essential if you work in a place like Paperell where you always have to be organized. It takes about 60 days for something to become a routine in your life, so make sure to try it out. Personally, the beginning is the hardest. You try to plan everything out, only to end up taking more work than you can handle just because there was some room in the schedule. It takes times to find your own rhythm when it comes to scheduling, but once you do find it, your writing abilities and productivity will be unstoppable.