Maybe you only have a vague sense of whether or not you are productive. Most days, you think you are…or you know you wasted a ton of time doing unimportant things.
In January, I purchased a daily journal that asked me to track productivity on all my tasks. What an eye opener that was! Not only did I realize how unproductive I was on many days, but I watched as my productivity increased. Why? Because I was more aware of whether or not I was completing tasks and achieving goals.
That’s when I really got it: To become more productive, you must track your productivity regularly.
Start with a Current Productivity Ranking
I’ve written a lot about how to become a more productive writer. I now realize that if you don’t know if you are productive or not, it’s hard to be sure you are increasing your productivity level. So, I created my Productive Writer Quiz to help you determine your productivity starting point. If you haven’t taken it yet, it’s only a few minutes long and gives you a much better idea of your current productivity level. You can take the Productive Writer Quiz here.
How many words or pages you turn out each time you write might varies from day to day. It also can differ from person to person. One person can write 1,000 words in an hour. Another might only produce 500 in the same amount of time. Both writers might experience “off days” when the words don’t flow as quickly and “on days” when they are in the flow and produce more manuscript pages than usual.
However, one thing remains the same if you are a productive writer: You write consistently and move steadily toward completion of your writing projects. In fact, extraordinarily prolific writers set daily writing goals–and meet them.
How do you know if you are productive? You have to track your progress.
August Nonfiction Writer’s Challenge
To complete this challenge, track your productivity on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Here’s how.
It’s essential to have a starting point ranking, though. When you know how productive you are right now, you then can rank yourself over time to see if you are leveling up.
After you get your results from my Productive Writer Quiz, try this six-step writing productivity rating process:
- Rate your writing productivity over the last 30 days on a scale of 1 to 10. A ranking of 1 means you hardly wrote at all in the previous month; a ranking of 10 means you totally crushed it and wrote consistently on a daily basis and cranked out as many manuscript pages as you wanted.
- Starting today or tomorrow (or even going back to the first day of the month), rate your daily productivity. Use the same 1 to 10 scale.
- At the end of the week, average all your daily productivity ratings. To do so, add up your daily ratings and then divide that number by 7. This gives you a weekly productivity rating.
- At the end of the month, add up your weekly productivity ratings, and divide them by 4. This provides you with a productivity score for the entire month.
- Compare that score to the one you gave yourself at the beginning of the month. Continue rating yourself in this manner until the end of the year.
- Analyze your ratings. If your ratings drop, ask yourself why, and find strategies to level up your productivity. If they increase, also determine what made the difference. Then expand that particular strategy so your productivity continues to trend upward.
If you can’t seem to level up, join the Nonfiction Writers’ University Masters, where I can help you find numerous ways to become consistently more productive. The High-Performance Writer (Certified High Performance Coaching) program included in the Masters will skyrocket your writing productivity.
After you’ve used this strategy for a little while, leave me a comment and tell me what you’ve discovered—and if your writing productivity has increased.
Photo courtesy of artsonik / 123RF Stock Photo