SPQ 001: How Do You Balance Productive Writing with Daily Inspiration?
Staying productive isn’t always easy when you have a lot of ideas. In this episode, Steve gives tips for getting things done without stifling your creativity.
Kristi wants to know how to allocate enough time to get work done but still allow room for inspiration when it strikes. She has seven different ideas, including her dissertation topic, and she often falls down a rabbit hole while she is doing research.
Steve says it’s good to have a lot of ideas because it shows you have inspiration. The key is turning ideas into something tangible. He suggests:
- Using the Getting Things Done approach to productivity.
- Identifying the time of day you do your best work and do your writing at that time.
- Creating a separate project list for each writing idea. (The list should include every step you need to take to finish the project.)
- Organizing the lists in a binder, or use an app like Evernote to keep everything organized on your computer or mobile device.
Steve also recommends working on one project at a time. If you work on several projects, it’s difficult to actually finish anything. Avoid the research trap by setting aside time for writing and time for research. If you come across something you need to research, jot it down and keep writing.
Finally, Steve uses a list of most important things, or MITs, to manage his projects. He suggests you start your day with the one or two MITs on your list. If you need time to be creative, take a walking break. Be sure to take your phone or a pen and paper with you to record any ideas you have during your walk.
Getting Things Done: David Allen’s breakthrough book on productivity
Kindle Publishing Checklist: The step-by-step checklist Steve uses to complete every writing project
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work: The routines successful artists follow to stay productive