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How to Work in Bursts to Get More Done

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Category: Productivity
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A solution that works every time: break the job into smaller bits, and do those bits in bursts.

That may sound obvious, but not many people put this to optimal use. Too often they procrastinate because they’re stuck with a daunting task on their to-do list. If that’s you, try these 10 productive tips:

Granularize. Got a project? Just put the very next physical action on your to-do list, not everything on the list. Is that task still too intimidating? Break it down even further. For example, instead of writing a whole article, write the intro. Or do an outline. Instead of doing a whole graphic design, just do a sketch. Or start by brainstorming. Or searching the web for ideas (don’t get lost on the web).

Granularize further. If that’s still too big, just do 10 minutes of the task. You don’t need to finish it. Do 10 minutes, and at least you’ve gotten off to a good start. After 10 minutes, you can stop — or just as often, you may just keep going. Even if you stop, doing something in 10-minute bursts is a bit more likely to get it done than putting it off forever. Just a tad more likely.


Create a Morning Writing Ritual

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Category: Productivity
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If you’re like most writers, you procrastinate. You have a hard time getting started writing, unless you’re seized by a burst of inspiration. Instead, you might do some “research” online, fiddle with your to-do list, or work on a number of other tasks instead of doing the writing you need to do.

If you’re having trouble getting your writing done, try creating a morning writing ritual. You can get a lot more done each day, as an early boost of productivity will spur further productivity throughout the day.

Why create a morning routine? A few reasons:

  1. It gets your most important task out of the way. This assumes, of course, that your writing is your most important task, or at least one of them. But if it is, you don’t want to put off that task till later — do it first, and then you can check that off your list!
  2. Stuff can get crazy later in the day. If you put your writing off until the afternoon or evening, other stuff will come up throughout the day that will interfere with your plans. And a lot of times, that stuff is urgent, pushing back your writing until the next day — when the process is repeated. Do it early, before the rest of the world gets in your way.


7 Ways to Crank Out Articles

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Category: Productivity
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One of my best skills is being able to turn out a high number of articles each week. My output varies depending on the complexity and length of a story, but I can crank out anywhere from 3-6 articles a day — which doesn’t hurt the pocketbook.

But writing productivity doesn’t come easy. All writers grapple with procrastination: you know you should be writing right now, but you find a million other things to do instead.

It’s not an insurmountable obstacle. You can squash the distractions and procrastination and crank out articles like a maniac with some simple hacks.

Here are some of the best methods for writing productivity:

  • Write first thing in the morning. When you wake up, don’t check email, don’t look and see how your blog is doing, and don’t read your feed reader. Find the most important or most urgent writing task on your to-do list, and get started on it. Once you crank that out, the rest of your day is golden!
  • Shut off all distractions. Yes, an obvious one, but perhaps the most important of all. Shut off the Internet, first of all. Not just email or RSS or Twitter or IM, but the Internet. Do you need to do research? Well, do your research first, then shut everything down in order to write. Shut off cell phones and television and anything else that might distract you. Get into the no-interruption zone. And do NOT start fiddling with your to-do list or other similar tasks — do one thing, and focus.


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