What’s the ultimate hack for writing productivity?
Set a timer… folks.
There’s no better way to plug into your writing and destroy distractions than by setting a timer and telling your mind you’ll write for the allotted time you’ve chosen. It works like Jedi magic.
And come to think of it… Magic is what you need in an online world where you’re distracted every couple seconds.
When you set a timer and seriously commit yourself to writing for a duration of time you’ve chosen, you’ve just single handedly put yourself in a bubble of kick-ass. It’s actually the place I feel most at home.
Nothing can touch you here. Twitter? It’s got nothing on you. Nothing. Instant messenger? Sorry! You ain’t welcome around here, kid. The phone? If you put it on silence for the duration of time your timer’s ticking, I can assure that when your writing time ends, you’ll be looking sharper than ever and no harm will come. You’ll have accomplished something great. You can check your phone when you’re done, OK?
Nothing Grows Our Blog Like Great Writing
There’s a lot of little ways to tweak your blog. Lots of little tidbits, nuggets and sprinkles you can glean from blogs on blogging that may help you…†a little.
But let’s get real, shall we? None of that, absolutely none of it is really going to grab the attention of prospective readers like prose that grabs them by the throats and keeps them there until the last line has been read. Great writing is the number one ingredient that gets our blogs out there and admired.
Let’s do this.
So my advice if you’re strapped for time as many of us surely are: Use the time you have almost exclusively on creating awesome content.
Here’s what Leo Babauta, who knows a little bit about this, has to say about what worked for him while he was working full time and doing freelance writing on top of it:
“What’s the most important thing a blogger can do to grow his blog and readership? Write great content. Not add links or widgets to the sidebar, not check stats, not reading or commenting other blogs, not even responding to comments or email. Writing great content. That’s by far the most important thing you can do.” [Bold emphasis mine]
And it’s not like you have to complete a full post in one sitting. Nonsense. You could set a timer for 15 minutes a day of hard, focused writing and by the end of the week finish a†solid post or two. Using a timer for our writing sessions forces us to put everything aside and write like maniacs until it sounds. It makes the little time we do have, laser focused. And even if we do have a fair amount of time on our hands, it helps us stay miles away from the distractions that bombard us, keeping us honest.
So yeah… We can say we’ll write five minutes from now and we just might. We can say we’ll write after we’ve eaten supper and… well… maybe we will.
We can be real. We can be writers. We can do this. We can set a timer, commit ourselves to working non-stop until it sounds and feel proud at what we’ve accomplished. That’s what I’m talking about. You with me on this?
After all this talk about using a timer to generate focused, timely writing, you’d think I’d offer you a resource to use right about now? Wouldn’t ya? Of course I will, child.
Online Timer for Writers
I’ve recently given birth to a little, humble site with a timer you can freely use 7 days a week, 365 days a year (Even during all major holidays). This site was spawned by me, one of your fellow and very, very obsessed writers. Setting a timer has worked wonders for getting me to write and to increase my general productivity and it’ll probably help you enormously as well.
So if you want to kill procrastination and plug into a time frame where you do nothing but write, I recommend you head on over to my little site, Tick Tock Timer.
Oh… and when you hear the gongs going off… after you’ve just finished writing a kick-ass blog post that’ll put massive smiles on the faces of many… I want you to party like it’s 1999.