by Kerry Kerr McAvoy
For as long as I can remember, daily workflows and efficiencies have fascinated me. If I’m going to the store, for example, I ask myself what else I could accomplish while in that area of town. I combine tasks and trips to save me valuable time and money.
I do the same at home. Instead of making five trips to my house’s lower level, I save the errands until there were other chores to complete.
Writing Requires Self Discipline
We can approach the complex task of writing much the same. Most of us already know writing isn’t as simple as finishing a book; we must also brand ourselves and build an author platform. To be successful, there are many tasks to complete–from posting on social media, engaging with others’ pieces, working on our larger writing projects, and creating shorter blog articles.
There is no time clock to punch or boss to please; instead, we must rely on our ability to initiate these projects. To do this often requires enormous self-discipline, something in short order for a lot of us. Creating workflows can help overcome resistance. For example, I’ve found it helpful to make an appointment on when to start writing, much the way I’d go to a job. But each of us has to find what works.
Working at Peak Efficiency
It is also important to write during our optimal hours. Some people are most creative in the early morning; I don’t get my second wind until late afternoon or early evening.
We may find we are not at our most creative or focused every hour of the day. It helps to work within the ebbs and flows of our biological clock to achieve peak efficiency.
Observing ourselves, particularly our creative rhythms, can be a helpful first step.
Use the Method of Baby Steps
Writing a book is much like trying to eat an elephant; it is best done one bite at a time. Try setting small daily achievable goals that are measurable. I like to think of these as “baby steps.” Maybe it’s a time allotment or hitting a certain number of words written, but be sure to find the right measure of discipline and patience.
Again, it helps to observe what works and what doesn’t; then, use this information to tweak the work process.
I wish I could do my work in the morning, but I’m not at my peak level until the afternoon despite my best efforts.
The Role of Helpful Tools
What’s your current workflow process from conception to finished product? Are you using the right tools? Does it help to keep a physical or digital notebook to collect ideas? Have you tried word sprints, dictation, or outlining to speed up your writing process.
Have you tried repurposing content for other social media posts to improve your efficiency output? Are you using a social media scheduler to batch your posts?
Each of these strategies can help to improve your writing output. We have all heard the well-known saying that it is essential to work smarter, not harder. This saying is especially true when it comes to writing.
This week’s worksheet, Improve Your Writing Workflow, will help you identify your current workflows as well as small tweaks to make for improvement, available to all Patreon sponsors.