3 Little-Used Writer’s Productivity Tools

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The writers I know are always looking for a way to improve their output. Here are three things that have worked for me and my clients and will probably work for you.

A door you can close

When you’re writing, distractions are the devil. You want to minimize interruptions so that when you get in the flow of good writing you can stay there.

The easiest way I know to keep distractions at bay is to have a door you can close. You can lock it too if you like. You can hang out a sign that tells people who come around that you’re writing, and they should leave you alone.

You may not be able to have a cabin deep in the woods where you can write and where no one can find you. But you can close your door, and that will make a difference.

A separate room where you can put your turned-off phone

I know you love your smartphone, but you need to hear this. Your phone may be your single biggest distraction. So, how do you deal with it?

You could put it in a drawer, but then you’d probably hear it rings. What if you turned it off? Well, research is telling us that even if your phone is turned off the closer it is to you the more likely it’s going to distract you.

There’s lots of research to support this, but I’ll point you to one representative study. Researchers at the University of Texas found that your phone dilutes your attention even if it’s not being used. In fact, it dilutes your attention even if it is powered off and tucked away out of sight.

Shut your phone off. Then place it as far away from you as is practicable. Putting it in another room is better than leaving it nearby.

A box to hold your project stuff

Distraction isn’t the only thing that can wreck your productivity. Disorganization can take a toll, two. One problem is that most book projects use a lot of material that won’t fit in a file folder.

Create a project box for each project. Put anything in it that you need to work on your project. If you can, leave your project box out where you can see it. Browse through it from time to time.

Not one of these three ideas will magically turn you into a great writer. That part is up to you. But if you reduce distractions by closing the door and getting your smartphone out of sight and out of mind, you’re likely to produce more good writing. A project box will help you work more efficiently.

Takeaways

A door you can close.

A separate room where you can put your turned-off phone.

A box to hold your project stuff.

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