Many Christian writers have other ministries that they are involved in, so it can be a challenge find time to write, to stay productive and keep motivated when it comes to maintaining a blog or creating articles, books and other forms of Christian content.
The BEST way to assure you have adequate time for all your tasks is to make sure that you’re productive in the way you conduct your projects, your daily activities and to-do lists.
Today, I’m sharing some productivity tips with you that are simple, yet, tried and true concepts to help you keep moving forward at a steady pace.
20 Productivity Tips for Christian Writers
- Do Important Things First
Have you ever finished a day and realized you dawdled around accomplishing a bunch of little stuff, but didn’t get the most important stuff done?
Perhaps, you dreaded the important tasks, so you busied yourself with the little stuff to avoid doing those dreaded things. I’m personally guilty of this at times.
Jot your top three priorities toward the top of your daily planner so that you can stay focused on those important matters. Do what you can to check off the top priorities as soon as possible, so that you can feel good the rest of the day as you accomplish the smaller projects.
2. Hack Away at Undesirable Tasks on a Regular Basis
We all have things that we absolutely hate doing; however, the mistake that most of us make is putting it off. The dreadful task itself isn’t going to disappear without dealing with it.
Those hideous tasks still have to get done, no matter how much time we spend putting it off. In fact, the longer we delay, the more critical it will become, and the more likely that we’ll get penalized by the delay…or we’ll end up doing a lousy job because we had to rush through it.
Some TIPS on dealing with dreadful tasks:
- Plan further in advance so that you don’t end up scheduling too many difficult projects on the same day or same week. Sometimes we wait until the last minute, and then have no choice but to get it all done at once.
- If it’s a huge project, try breaking it down into smaller chunks. Each morning, invest a half-hour to knock off another chunk of that grievous task. Before you know it, the whole project will be completed.
- Reward yourself! Try to come up with a way that you can motivate yourself to do a dreaded task. Reward yourself in some way when you accomplish that big job.
3. Limit Your To-Dos
A lot of people create HUGE to-do lists to push themselves to be more productive. However, they end up putting so much stuff on the list that it actually has the opposite effect. Instead of becoming more productive, the moment they look at the list they mentally shut down due to its vast size and scope.
TIP: Be realistic of what you can actually accomplish in a day. Try creating weekly habits and routines by doing the same tasks each week on the same days. Once an automatic habit is formed, you may not need to write those routine tasks down any longer, leaving you with a much shorter and simplified list.
4. Keep Your Workplace Clean and Simple
Did you know that your desk is a reflection of your mind? The more cluttered and confusing your desktop (or wherever your work area is located) becomes, the more cluttered and confused your mind becomes.
A cluttered area can be a dramatic deterrent of getting things done. Cut through all the mental clutter and confusion by keeping your workspace clean and minimal. Take a moment every day to tidy up your space, putting things away where they belong.
Piles of paper do not indicate productivity. They actually indicate a lack of real productivity. If you couldn’t care less how your workspace looks, how can you hope to care what kind of job you are performing when you work?
5. Let Go of the Mistakes
You’re going to make mistakes. We all do. Dwelling on those mistakes (which you cannot do a single thing about now) will only steal energy from your today. Learn from them, and move on.
6. Make the Time to Do the Things that are Important to You
Aim to do more of the things that you’re good at and that you love. This keeps a healthy balance and actually helps you become more productive, while eliminating the “burnout” syndrome.
We can build on our best skills and utilize those. I like writing, but I also LOVE to create art and graphics. So, I’m making sure to spend time learning to do more of that which I love and finding a way to use that in my Christian writing ministry. Writing and graphic creation mix well together, and this happy balance makes my work more pleasant.
*Side note: Perhaps you’re really good at speaking. You could add a mix of videos and writing on your Christian site and blog. You may find that you enjoy the video process much more, and it’s also a much needed content online.
7. Find Things That Motivate You
Perhaps you can find some motivational books, blogs or videos to help you stay motivated. That saying, “All work and no play” also creates an imbalance. You need downtime to get recharged, but it also helps to find some motivational content to help spur you into action.
8. Limit Checking Your Email or Social Media
I’m still working on this one! I tend to check my email inbox way too much, and you know what? It’s a HUGE time waster and gets me distracted. Social media does the same!
There is nothing that is going to come into your email inbox that is so urgent it needs to be dealt with immediately. So, limit it to the beginning of your day, and then in the afternoon, perhaps a short time before you stop working in case you need to respond to someone. Then, let it go.
Use that extra time you’re saving by not checking your email or social media every five minutes to focus on tasks that are more important.
9. Whittle Down those Email Subscriptions
This sort of ties in with the previous point as a time waster. Subscribe to newsletters and blogs that you really enjoy and get value from, but if they don’t motivate or increase your knowledge, unsubscribe from them.
Side note: If you have a lot to unsubscribe from, check out Unroll.me to help. (http://unroll.me) Remember, if it ends up in your inbox, it should provide you with value, knowledge, or joy.
10. Learn When to Put Down the Phone
We’re tethered to our phones these days, but there is a lot to be said for taking some time off to disconnect. It can be liberating, but also difficult.
Take a walk without taking pictures with your phone – just be there in the moment, and create memories that don’t need to be memorialized with snapshots. Have dinner with family or friends without looking at your phone at all.
Turn off the notifications! What a game changer to free your mind! This downtime and disconnection will help give you more energy when it’s time to work!
11. Write a 1-2-3 List
On that list, write down the three most important things that need to get done during your day. When you focus on your TOP THREE PRIORITIES, one at a time, you’ll find that you not only get them done quite efficiently, but you’ve also built momentum that spurs you on for the rest of the day. This is a great way to eliminate overthinking and overwhelm from your life.
12. Focus on Today
Make it a habit to focus on today, not the future. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look too far in advance at every little detail.
With bigger projects, you will certainly need to break those down into smaller chunks at a time for the weeks or months ahead. Then, after your overall project planning takes place, keep your focus on today’s tasks, one day at a time.
13. Hydrate in the Morning
During the night, we get dehydrated, and it affects our brain function. A big glass of water immediately upon waking gives the brain what it needs to stave off that brain fog and get to work with clarity. Drink plenty of fluids during the day as well!
*Side note: Better nutrition choices can also be a significant energy booster. Good brain food helps you be more productive. High carbs and sugared treats can cause drowsiness afterwards, causing your productivity to spiral downward.
14. Take a Few Minutes Each Night and Plan for the Next Day
This is the only time you should focus on tomorrow instead of today, and you should do it for only a few minutes.
Do just a bit of pre-planning for the next day. Set out what you need to accomplish tomorrow. When you wake up, you won’t spend time being overwhelmed, because you’ll already know what’s on the agenda for the day.
15. Be Flexible
Things don’t always turn out as we planned, so be able to refocus your energies when needed.
Don’t allow an unplanned interruption or problem ruin your whole day. It’s just a moment that needs to be dealt with, and then you can get back on track as much as possible.
TIP: Don’t cram in too much on your daily agenda. You need to leave room for interruptions, issues and setbacks.
16. Try to Ward Off Interruptions
Let friends and family know when your normal work time will be if you’re working from home. There will be occasions when they may need your extra attention and time, especially during emergencies, but you need to protect this time as much as possible, so that you can learn to be consistent in writing and creating your content.
17. Take Action on Your Goals
Even on those days when it seems impossible, do “something” to work towards your bigger goals. Every single day. Even if it’s something very small and seemingly insignificant.
Side note: Baby steps are still steps forward! Work towards staying consistent, and make it a habit.
18. Let Go of Perfectionism
I think this is another one that’s hard for me to get a balance on. You need to find a happy medium of when a project should be complete so that you can quickly move on to the next project.
Overall, your best work should be done… BUT, do you tend to hang on to projects too long because you never feel like it’s good enough?
TIP: Set specific guidelines as to what your finished project should entail and a specific finish date. This will help you work within that time frame, and push yourself to move on forward to the next project.
19. Create Systems and Templates that Work
Write down details as you accomplish a projects, in order to create a system or checklist for getting those similar projects done. You can find out what works best, and in which order, and use this same checklist to keep the wheels turning on each new similar project.
*An example would be creating an ebook. You want to include all the necessary details that would work in a good order, such as topic planning, creating an outline, creating the content, the graphics, uploading the files, creating an cover, etc.
Templates can be used over an over again. For example, keep a ebook template document copy that will already have the fonts of your choice and preferred margins set. You could have a title page placeholder. Your “About Me” author page would probably stay the same, etc.
20. Eliminate the Unnecessary Tidbits
Keep track of what works best and take note of what doesn’t. Try to eliminate unnecessary work for yourself.
A year ago, I started tracking stats on one of my blogs and realized my readers were not that interested in recipes. Sure, I had a few visits here and there, but it definitely wasn’t worth my time and investment. So, I let that project go to focus on more important stuff. Definitely watch for the interests of your readers to find out what is worthy of your time.
Eliminating the nonessential work is a great way to gain more time and allow yourself to be more productive on more important tasks.
Feel free to share below with readers here any tips that have helped YOU in being more productive.
God bless you in your Christian writing endeavors,