How do you schedule your writing time each day? How much time do you spend handling emails? What happens when you get a backlog of other work – do you put aside the writing altogether?
The distractions of daily life can derail writing, stealing the time, focus, and attention you need for creative work.
In his new book Productivity for Creative People: How to Get Creative Work Done in an “Always On” World, MarkMcGuinness offers practical strategies for these challenges and more.
If you enjoyed The Writer’s Process, check out Productivity for Creative People. It offers valuable advice for writing (and doing other creative work) productively in the modern world.
It’s a short book packed with great ideas. Here are a few of the strategies that I found particularly applicable:
- Putting “hard edges” in your schedules and creating templates for your days
- Being smarter about picking up the smart phone
- Writing small, irrevocable to-do lists for each day
- Answering emails one day later
Procrastination vs. Incubation
One of my favorite parts was the discussion on incubation vs. procrastination. I’m a firm believer in incubation as an essential part of the writing process – letting your mind work on the project while you do other things. Using the bread-baking metaphor, as in the post Why Writing Is Like Baking Bread, incubation is like letting the bread rise.
Yet it’s tempting to use “incubation” as an excuse for avoiding work. Of course, the bread won’t rise if you haven’t mixed and kneaded the dough first.
McGuinness distinguishes between unproductive procrastination and productive incubation as follows:
Procrastination happens before hard work.
Incubation happens after hard work.”
Leave it to a poet to come up with a concise, elegant way to articulate the difference.
A Quick Read With A Long-Term Payoff
A small amount of time invested in reading this book will pay off in greater productivity over time.
And forget the old adage about free advice being worth what you pay for it. The ebook is free right now on Kindle, Kobo, Apple, Barnes and Noble. To get all of the links, visit LateralAction.com.