Posts Tagged ‘productivity tips for writers’
Catching a cold can come at any season. You know the symptoms: dizziness, lack of energy and low fever. I typically get sick during unstable weather, through a combination of the temperature differences between outdoors and indoors, and the differences between indoors with air-conditioning and indoors with no air–conditioning. Combine it with all the open windows and all the others getting sick and voila: you have a writer with a cold, trying not to vaporize and writing despite a headache.
And while I unfortunately discovered that there is no way I can be as productive as my usual healthy self, there are still a lot of productive and not-so-exhausting things I can do. Here is how you can work through a cold if you want to or need to:
1) Facebook: Facebook is a great way to catch up with your friends. And since you are sick, it is OK to start replying to your received messages, as opposed to replying when you are totally healthy and supposed to be doing something else.
But it is not all. You can also promote your old & recent articles. If you are well enough to log on to Facebook, you are well enough for some mindless article promotion. And since you are already active there, browse through groups and fan pages, join the ones you like, join some communities. If you already have a bunch of communities you joined before, converse and leave your own relevant links that will bring value to the conversations. Also leave links in your messages to your good friends. And don’t neglect to copy paste your article links to your profile.
Worry not. There is no need to overdo anything. 3-4 article links to your Facebook profile/news update within some hours between them is great for exposure and give your friends time to digest and all.
2) Twitter:Yep, you can tweet about your sickness, but while you are at it, why not post some good links? It can be your old or new article links, friends’ articles, or links to stuff you are promoting. If you can turn on your computer and log on to twitter, you definitely owe this little activity to yourself.
3) Stumble and Digg: I suggest you get these sites’ toolbars so you can vote things up and down easily. Since they appreciate you being active and not just marketing your own stuff, this is a great time to promote both what’s yours and other things you like. And when you get better, you will realize you’ll have gotten rid of one your promotional chores for a while.
4) Registering and signing up for useful sites: You may have come across links to register for social media sites, sites that pay for your content, e-mail newsletters you find useful, etc… Registering to multiple sites take time. Since you have time now, use it to sign up for useful stuff.
5) Read blogs and articles: If you are well enough to read, take this time to read friends’ and other’s articles and blog posts. If you can comment, please do. If you don’t have the energy, just help spread the word about the article and let the author know you did this.
6) Check and clean-up your e-mail inbox: You may not feel good enough to study newsletters or apply tips that you are getting from them, but you can always clean out spam and other unwanted stuff. The cleaner your email inbox is, the more productive it will be for you to use it when you feel healthy.
7) Organize bookmarks: How many bookmarks do you have? The idea for this article came to me while I was trying to organize an enormous list of bookmarks. Most of the time, we run into a useful resource, we bookmark it so that we can come back to it later. But since this happens with a lot of sites, we barely ever have the time to go back. Sometimes it is even hard to remember we had a list of websites to visit in the first place.
Do yourself a favor by organizing them. Get rid of the ones you don’t need. If you run into some beneficial stuff, remember to stumble them up, and/or write them down on a Word document, so that you will remember them easily.
8) Take advantage of your entertainment. And if you do watch excess amount of movies and TV shows, remember to write about them later. I once devoured 7 episodes of Supernatural on one sick day. I later wrote a lot of articles on them.
If you have done general reviews for that movie/tv show/whatever already, you can come up with comparison articles, collection of best episodes, list posts and many more.
9) Jot down ideas. When you are physically inactive, your mind can go into overdrive. Make use of these ideas: write them down so you can use them later.
So above are things I do when I am not feeling well. What are your tips for “sickness productivity”?
Recommended Articles on Productivity & Time Management
Procrastination means delaying your actions. Everyone does it. It’s not all about laziness. Some things just always get in the way of a productive day. Sometimes it is your kids, spouses or other relationships. Sometimes there is a chore or an illness. And sometimes you just feel stuck, blocked or tired. So you feel like doing anything but working.
Yes, the Internet is full of articles on how to beat procrastination. But the truth is, we all always procrastinate, one way or the other, whether we can help it or not. It is human nature. I am pretty sure sometimes the motivation is wonderfully great that delaying doesn’t even cross your mind.Take Jake Gyllenhaal for instance. Does it look like he procrastinated when it came to muscling up for his leading role in Prince of Persia? But then again he received an extra 2 million dollars just to build the muscles. Give me that money and see if I ever procrastinate when it comes to dieting…
Below, Jake Gyllenhall as Prince of Persia.
But hey, for us the regular folk, the motivations and the payouts aren’t always great. So instead of getting depressed and feeling guilty about all the hours and minutes taken from your work, take all those moments and turn them into something useful.
Taking Advantage of Procrastionation: 7 Tips for Writers
1) Movies. Movies are a great method of relaxation. And everyone loves a good movie, right? So lay back and watch it. Enjoy the film and write about what you think about it afterwards. Put it on your blog. Turn it into a research idea. Make that movie count for both fun and some bucks.
2) Music. Almost anyone has a favorite genre. And music is something that is integrated into in our lives and we can create many topics revolving around music. Write about it.
3) Diet breaching and procrastination. Yes, you had sworn you’d never eat that much. But you were upset or happy. Maybe you were just hungry and lazy. Fine. Go ahead. Write about it.
Diets never lose popularity. If you can manage a nice a little angle with some edge, you can query fitness magazines. You can post it on your blog if it is a related topic.
You can even review a diet book you were supposed to follow. Post it to wherever you feel appropriate. In fact, why not make some money with it? Register to Amazon’s associates program and get the link for that book. Place the link in your review.
Now, you have a second income possibility and another reason to promote that article. If it is an e-book, go and look around Clickbank. See how it is doing. And while you are at it, you might decide to write about those books, see which ones you are tempted to try. And then…That’s right. Then you write about it.
4) Out with friends: One of the most popular procrastination method of all times. While you are already out and away from your computers and notepads, just let go, recharge and come back.
5) Hour-long phone conversations with your friends. I suspect this happens more to women than men. Your friends might call to rant about their relationships or just spill their guts about their newest crush. And right there, you just got some nice material for posts on relationships and dating. We all have experience and go through some annoying yet hilarious phases in our lives. I am not saying you write the conversation down as it is and expose your friends. But you might very well use it as an inspiration point. You might not go overbroad as Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and base a whole column about it, but you can count those hours as brainstorming sessions and get something out for you.
6) Magazines. Whether you like fun lifestyle magazines or stuff about your hobbies or industries, blindly going from one page to another, why don’t you pay more attention to the headlines? The editor’s note? The masthead? The topics? What got your attention the most?
You never know, you might (and should) try to pitch that magazine someday. Even if you don’t, it is an excellent resource to keep in mind when it comes to take notes on how to grab attention and make more sales.
7) Books. There is quite nothing like a page-turner. Books that make it impossible for you to put it down don’t come out that often. So, don’t put it down.
But keep a (mental) note on what parts you like the most. You can choose to review this book, or you might want to study what made it into a seller. Also look at the publisher. After all, you might have a book manuscript belonging to a similar genre. And now you know at least one other publisher who might see that genre as relevant.
You see, any procrastination method is not to be feared but to be enjoyed and taken advantage of. This way you will have to worry less about your productivity levels. This attitude might even seriously prevent your writer’s block.
But of course if you procrastinate all the time, there is no way you can benefit from it.