3 Science-Backed Ways to Write More Productively
Have you ever had one of those amazingly productive days of writing? One where you’re really in the groove? It’s like all the planets have aligned and you’re able to churn out words.
Now…Do you ever find yourself in a slump the very next day? What happened?
There may be a very good explanation for this. Sometimes, slumps aren’t just a bad case of the doldrums or writer’s block. Often they have simple reasons behind them. Let’s check out a few.
Writing According to Your Body’s Schedule
Personally, I’m a morning person. Early to bed, early to rise. And as a matter of fact, I often get some of my best work done in the morning.
I’ve got an individual on my team who swears he does his best work in the witching hours. While most everyone is sleeping, he spends his nights typing away in the dim glow of his favorite reading light. Maybe this describes you as well.
Point is… everybody is wired differently. The time that may be the most productive and creative for you, might not be right for someone else. The trick is honing in on the right time for your body.
Now, this may take some experimentation. Try writing at different times throughout the week. Once in the morning, another in the afternoon, and again in the evening. You’ll be able to see at what time you’re most productive. Just be sure to get a good night’s rest before each session so as not to alter the true results.
If you’re looking for more information into this, Daniel Pink has written a book titled When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing that explores whether you’re a morning lark, a night owl, or that third bird in between.
Healthy Eating and Productivity
If you’re looking to be more productive, a simple dietary change may be all that’s needed in your life.
I’m no dietician, but I have sat down and eaten an entire box of donuts in one sitting. And you know what… I felt terrible afterward. No way I would have been able to sit down and pump out some good writing that day or the next.
There’s a direct correlation between eating healthy and being productive. It’s like your body actually functions properly when you put the right fuel in it. Who would have thought? But… eating healthy is not always the easiest thing to do.
Let’s look at some ways to eat healthier and, in turn, boost our productivity.
Don’t skip breakfast.
We’ve heard it all before. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that’s because it helps to jumpstart your metabolism after your long sleep. However, this healthy eating tip is always confronted with excuses–particularly that there’s no time to prepare breakfast. If that’s the case for you, meal prep is your friend. Hard boiled eggs will keep up to a week. And just like the name implies… overnight oats are made by soaking oats overnight.
You’d be surprised at how many people don’t drink enough water. Most health officials recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day. This may not seem like a lot, but I bet there are a few of you out there reading this wondering about when your last glass was.
Try to get all your daily vitamins and minerals.
Getting all of your vitamins and minerals helps your body operate at peak performance. And the best way to get these is through a balanced diet. But let’s face it, sometimes that’s just hard to do. If you find yourself struggling to eat a balanced diet, ask your doctor to recommend a great multivitamin.
Create a Writing Routine
One of the best ways to boost productivity and churn out words faster is to establish a routine. Just as you may have a routine for your day, you can have a routine for your writing.
Treat it the same way as you would your normal daily routine. Make it a standard part of your writing process. But what makes up a writing routine? Here are a few ideas from my routine for creating your own:
Make a cup of coffee.
This step isn’t just for the caffeine–although that does help. It helps to prepare my state of mind. Going through the motions of getting a cup ready is somewhat meditative. It’s just part of the routine. For you, it could be preparing a cup of tea or even filling a water bottle.
Stare at my screen and do nothing.
While this may seem counter-productive, this is one of the most important steps of my routine. I’m not just staring into the abyss of my word processor but rather thinking about the composition. How am I going to start this? Any quirky things I want to say? What’s the actual point of writing this? This step is a mental outline and concentration phase. I know when this phase is done because I won’t be able to resist the urge to start writing.
Take breaks to stretch and exercise.
Once I hit a good stopping point, it’s time to stretch. I’m not going to force myself to keep going. That only kills the productivity I’ll have in the near future. So, I get up and walk around or do some stretches. Helps to get the blood flowing and regroup my thoughts.
Maximize Your Writing Productivity
I’ve shared with you some of my personal preferences. The details might look different for you, but the basic principles should still apply.
If you’re a night owl who wakes up at 1pm…. Make 1:30pm your breakfast time, and eat something healthy to boost productivity.
The most important thing is to find what works best for you.
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