10 ways to improve your writing productivity

Key elements include organization, clearing your mind (and desk), and easing up on yourself.

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Many years ago I accepted a two-day-per-week writing/editing contract. I was delighted.

The reliable paycheck gave me some security in my then-new life as a solopreneur. The employer, however, was ecstatic: I replaced someone who had taken five days a week to do exactly the same work. (Don’t worry: She wasn’t fired; she’d simply accepted a government job.)

How did I do her work in less than half the time? It’s not as if I have a magic wand. I’m just a zealot for productivity. Here are 10 ways you be a more productive writer, too.

1. Write a to-do list every day. I have always begun every morning by reviewing my to-do list. Now I can review it in the (free) miracle software known as Wunderlist. This easy-to-use application enables you to list all the things you need to do and attach deadlines to them. (Hint: I even note the tasks I’ve asked other people to do, so I don’t forget to follow up with them.) I like the way Wunderlist helps me to create new categories or “containers” for my tasks. I don’t leave my to-do lists until just before going on vacation. I work through one every day.

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