You’re in the homestretch… Less than two weeks left to complete your Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge project. But you’re slowing down. Maybe the pressure, late writing nights, early writing mornings, or overwhelm have made consistent writing seem less than doable. You know you must increase your productivity—and fast!—if you want to finish your book in 30 days. That means you need some writing productivity hacks…and fast!
For some people, a looming deadline is a reason to quit…before they fail to meet it. For others, the pressure causes creativity to fly out the window. And yet, for others, the urgency of knowing they’ve only got a little bit longer to get the job done, creates resistance. They just can’t seem to buckle down and write.
No matter why you’re struggling to complete your first draft in a month, you need one thing: increased productivity. And you need it on demand.
That means you need a few productivity hacks…and fast!
1o Writing Productivity Hacks
WNFIN challenges you to finish the first draft of a nonfiction book (or a shorter nonfiction project) in a month. If you’re struggling to get to “done” by the end of November, increase your productivity by using the following ten productivity hacks.
- Focus, focus, focus.
Remove as many distractions as you can. To do so, identify the distractions—like kids watching television, the dog barking, or social media. Then create a plan to eliminate or reduce them during your writing blocks.
- Get support.
Tell your friends and family you need help meeting your goal of producing the first draft of your book in 30 days. Ask them to take over some of your responsibilities until the end of the month so you can work.
- Seek accountability.
Let everyone you know about your goal—and ask them to hold you accountable for accomplishing it. You might even post your participation in the WNFIN Challenge on Facebook and invite your friends and followers to ask you how the project is progressing.
- Turn up the music.
Music can help your focus, and, therefore, your productivity. Use an app like Focus@Will or download the free version of Spotify and listen to the focus channel. Or play some Mozart.
- Sprint to the end.
Write in short bursts, like 15 or 30-minute blocks. And, write fast as you can. These mini-deadlines will help you knock out an incredible number of words in an extremely short amount of time. Such “writing sprints” push you back into an urgency mindset.
- Take mini-breaks.
If you want to stay in the writing flow, stop writing. It sounds counterintuitive, but the highest performers take breaks hourly. During your break, get up and stretch. Move your body; march in place or do some squats. Also, drink some water and breathe deeply. Then, set your intention for the next hour, and jump back in. You’ll get right back into the flow and be even more productive than before.
- Rev your self up.
During your breaks, get yourself pumped up energetically. Imagine you are a weight lifter and are about to lift 230 pounds. You need to prepare. Breathe deeply. Jump up and down in place. Repeat to yourself or out loud, “I’ve got this!” “I’m ready.” “I can do it.” Then put your hands on the keyboard and write.
- Watch your self-talk.
Speak positively to yourself. Quiet your negative thoughts by giving yourself a pep talk. A bit like #7, this tip requires that you use affirmations, like “I’ve got something important to say,” “I am a good writer,” and “I finish what I start.” Be on the lookout for the opposite type of conversation going on in your mind. When you hear it, deliberately switch the conversation to a positive one.
- Increase your necessity.
Think about who needs your book most. Does this potential reader need it now…or in a few years? Likely, he or she needs it now. Keep that in mind each day. Someone is waiting impatiently for your solution, answer, prescription, strategy, or story. It will make a huge difference in their life. When you realize that, necessity will drive your forward and help you write daily.
- Celebrate little wins.
It’s easy to only look at how little you wrote today or over the last two weeks. Our brain is trained to look for what’s wrong…not what’s right. Intentionally focus on what you have accomplished—even if it’s just a few pages. Remind yourself that you are farther along than before you started the WNFIN Challenge. And celebrate that fact. Your acknowledgment of progress will increase your commitment and productivity much more than your criticism and judgment.
Try these ten writing productivity hacks. Tell me in a comment below which ones helped you most. Or, share your productivity hacks.
This post is part of the 2018 Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) Challenge, also known as National Nonfiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). Find out more about how to participate by clicking here.
The event is sponsored by the Nonfiction Writers’ University. Get a 1-week trial membership for just $1!