Getting Productive

My family is back home after a long trip to visit my parents in the US. And like I mentioned before, I have come home with lots of Plans to Improve My Life and Finish My Book. Or at least get a second draft completed. Of course, it’s hard to find time and space for something like book writing. Other things inevitably creep in. But here’s what I’m applying from what I learned last summer, during my big push to write the first draft:

  • Writing must be done before accessing anything else on the internet. If I can’t get into writing, I am not allowed to do anything else. I just have to sit at my desk with my Scrivener file open. I do plan on walking before I write most days – I have a long distance walk in September that I need to prepare for. I think, though, that this will probably have a positive impact on writing.
  • Chrome extensions are my friend. I currently have StayFocusd installed which blocks websites I don’t want to access during my writing time. I have it set to come on in the middle of the night and to turn off at 8:30AM. I also have the Limit extension installed which limits my time in the day on time-wasting websites. I’m also appreciating Pause, which makes me wait ten seconds to access those websites in the first place.
  • I will probably read less over the next two months while I work on this. This makes me sad (especially because this book is about lifelong learning, and I desperately want to practice what I preach), but it’s only temporary.
  • I also probably can’t keep this pace up forever. It’s the end of June, and I can probably stay the course until September.
  • My other favorite writing tip that I implemented last year is to listen to rain and thunderstorms while I write. This blocks out the sound of little feet running around and lego getting dumped out of its box in the next room.
  • My husband is the best. He makes breakfast most days so that I can work on this project, and does his best to intercede before the kids interrupt me.

I wanted to share these things because while I do have three kids, and they are around all the time because we homeschool, I am still my own worst enemy when it comes to working on things that are actually really important to me. My kids don’t make me fritter my time away on the internet. My kids don’t need to determine what time I get up, and what I do with that time. Of course, if I had babies up in the night or if my husband had a different job with different work hours, the list above might look quite different. And I might not be trying to work on this book at all. But in my situation, what I need is a little (or a lot) of discipline and to put my excuses to the side.

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