In honor of NaNoWriMo, I thought it would be a good thing to come up with a list of productivity tips and tools. Because those 1667 words a day can be interrupted so easily by one stray click on Facebook, reddit, or Pinterest. Or whatever sucks the time from your day. By the way, yes, I’ve signed up for the insanity of a month long charge for 50000 words.
1. Turn the internet off. There are numerous apps that can block you from specific sites or for a specific time period. If you have the restraint and dedication though, you can simply turn it off during your writing sessions.
- WasteNoTime- I use this. It’s a chrome extension, but I think it might have an extension for Firefox. I schedule periods during which I’m working and it keeps me from getting on facebook to browse. I sometimes lose track of how long I’m on there.
- Freedom– Is one of the better known internet blocking software programs. You can purchase the monthly, yearly, or forever plan.
- Cold Turkey-With Cold Turkey, you can block distractions and customize your settings and there’s a free version of it.
- SelfControl– is for Mac only.
- Forest– is an app that grows a virtual tree as long as you stay focused on what you’re doing during the selected time period. There is a Firefox app for this.
- And many more.
2. Focus. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my brain is focused on what I need it to, but then “Ooh, shiny” and off we go on a tangent and productivity tanks.
- Meditation. It doesn’t have to be formal meditating. It can be quiet contemplation of what you want to do.
- Exercise. I try to walk every day. While I don’t think of anything specific when I’m walking–it would be a hazard to my health–, that walk centers me. It’s time away from the worries about misbehaving characters.
- Peppermint tea. Well, peppermint anything. The scent and taste of peppermint can improve focus. Even peppermint candy works.
- Try working in short bursts or sprints. Word sprints rock. Even a fifteen minute sprint can rocket your word count three hundred words.
3. First things first. I’m talking priorities here. If you want to get that 1667 words, you have to make your writing a priority. The following are a couple of ways to visually
- To do lists. Written to do lists don’t work for me so much since I do most of my work on the computer. I use a simple program on my computer.
- Bullet Journals. I like to keep a journal, but more for the writing aspect and recording ideas than a to do list. These would work if you like to work from a hard copy list.
- Sticky notes on your computer. I’ve done this and I’m sure other people have to. I put sticky notes on the edge of the computer so that I see it when I walk by or sit down. —You need to write. Remember NaNo? You’re doing great! Keep going. Anything from reminders to motivational quotes in an effort to get my fingers back on that keyboard.
4. Tracking your time and tracking your words. One of the great things about NaNo is that visual tracker, but you can also track your time to help make the most of what you have.
- There are time tracking apps that will help you discover how you’re spending your time whether it’s working, research, or surfing the web.
- Timers so you can do word sprints. I use a very basic timer on my computer, but you can even use a kitchen timer or one on your phone.
If you’ve signed up for NaNoWrimo, good luck and may the word flow. Happy Reading!