Attaining Warp-Speed: How to Increase Productivity
Step one is to stop watching so many Star Trek reruns...unless you're imbued with all the powers of Q, then you can alter time to suit your schedule. ~muuwahahah~
Back in the real world, my five top suggestions for increasing productivity -- be it in writing or life -- are:
1: Divest Your Life of Clutter
Yes, I am referring to everything from the spawning tchotchkes to the emotional baggage. You can either focus on the crap or you can focus on the achievement. Your choice.
2: Your Physical and Your Mental Well-Being Are Of Equal ImportanceAs a writer, it is so very tempting to sit on one's butt all day in the quest for MOAR WORDS (as my fat-pants that have now become my skinny-pants can attest). For many folks, the day-job and the family don't permit all-day ass-expansion. Whatever personal time you manage to claim, do not neglect to exercise your body in addition to your mind. If you fail to balance the physical and the mental you will find your thoughts less focused, less clear, and less creative.
3: Set Specific & Reasonable Expectations
This applies to every relationship you have, including the one with yourself. So much stress and anxiety are caused by assumptions and ambiguity. Never shy away from saying, "this is what I expect of you, and this is what you can expect from me." In an ideal world, the other party will work with you to reach an agreement of what is desirable and reasonable for both of you. In a less ideal world, by clearly stating your expectations, you have created the foundation for effective conflict resolution. In either case you have liberated yourself from uncertainty and second-guessing -- also known as emotional distractions.
4: Learn the Art of Prioritizing
Lots of people will makes lots of demands of you. It is your responsibility to decide what and who are most important to you. There are things that have to happen. Things that ought to happen. Things that would be nice to have happen. And there are things that just aren't going to happen. Don't be afraid of the latter. Sometimes "no" is the right answer. If you're having trouble prioritizing, go back and review your expectations -- starting with the expectations you have of yourself.
5: Always Include Make-Up Days In Your Schedule
Nope, not the L'Oreal or Cover-Girl kind of make-up. I'm talking about "shit just did not happen in the time I'd allotted" kind of days. There are infinite distractions out there ready to sink your perfect schedule. Allow for it to happen. My scheduling ratio? Five days of work: 1 day of awfuck recovery. If I need the make-up day, I have it. If I don't, I have an extra day off. Wheeee.
There you have my five tips for increasing productivity, dear readers. I'd love to hear one of your suggestions. Come, come, now. Don't be shy.