Increase your writing productivity in 5 steps

A good plan can save time and dramatically increase your output and efficiency.

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If so, you’re right—but only partly. Writing is perhaps 20 percent creative; the other 80 percent depends on good time management.

That may sound heretical, but much of writing is mundane. You have research and interviews. You must write sentences and later edit them.

Over the years, many writers fall into dysfunctional writing habits. We delay and procrastinate, making writing more challenging. Many of us become addicted to email, social media or other online distractions.

If only we could plan our time better and use it more efficiently, we’d be able to write more productively, right?

Recently I’ve increased my productivity by more than 113 percent. How I’ve done it is so simple, I’m embarrassed I didn’t start decades ago. I now schedule my day to minimize distractions and stay on task. Here’s how you can do it too:

1. Understand your writing speed. I know I can write 400 (hard) or 650-750 (easy) words in 30 minutes. This knowledge allows me to plan my writing day. If you don’t know how many words you can write in 30 minutes, start timing yourself.

The actual number doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know what it is. Once you have this information you’ll be able to plan your day.

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