Commit to following these five strategies for a month, and you'll be more productive --- that's a promise.
Note: although my strategies are geared to writers, they will work for you no matter what your work happens to be.
=> One: Think --- "Do It Now!" and write one sentence
This means, that as soon as you turn your computer on, you write one sentence on your current project.
After you've written one sentence, you can read your email, play Minesweeper, have a cup of coffee, or do whatever you like.
Writing one sentence first has an amazing effect. It alerts your mind to what you want it to do. You've broken through the initial inertia. You may not get back to work immediately, but you will get back to work, and you'll do it with minimal pressure.
As you're reading your email, you'll think of another sentence, and another one, and before you know it you'll be working happily on your project.
If you're not a writer, then adapt "Do It Now" to your own circumstances. You might call one client, or write a line in your next report, or find a graphic for your new presentation.
=> Two: Never Assume: create a strategy and follow it
Never assume. Always get evidence. Evidence takes time and action to acquire.
We all make assumptions. If a strategy doesnít seem to be working, it's easy to think that it will never work.
In my eight week copywriting course, which helps students to start their own copywriting services business, it's hard to convince students to market their new businesses consistently. Students get the "yes, buts". As in: "Yes, but I donít have any experienceÖ"
If youíre assuming, use "commit to 30 days".
=> Three: Commit To 30 Days: form new habits
Follow your strategy for one month. Don't think, just do it. For example, if you're marketing your business, work your plan for at least a month, before you change the plan.
If you're a writer, and are sending out article proposals, send out at least five proposals a week (more is better) for a month *before* you assume it's not working and stop doing it.
It takes 21 days to change a habit. In 30 days, you've got time to develop a whole new habit. Therefore, when you've created a plan, stick to it for 30 days. After 30 days, your new productivity will be a habit. And you will have results and feedback, which will help you to get over your assumptions.
You will be challenged. If you commit to contacting ten companies a day to offer your copywriting services, I guarantee you that you'll get a cold, your computer will die, or something else will happen to interrupt the course that you've set for yourself.
Deal with the interruption, and then start your 30 days again, from the beginning. Remember, donít assume, just commit to the plan, and keep going.
=> Four: Make It Fun
Are you passionate about what you do? Focus on the fun aspects of what you're doing. If you're doing something which has no fun in it at all, like sending out invoices or writing direct mail letters, then give yourself a treat when you complete the chore.
=> Five: Schedule Time Off
When you're running your own home business, work will take over your life if you let it. Keep regular office hours.
If you're moonlighting in your own business until you can go full-time, then take the weekend off. If you work all the time, the quality of your output will degrade sooner or later.
You must have downtime, so schedule it into your plan.
Start today, and try the above productivity strategies for a month. You WILL become more productive.
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Digital-e: For writers and creatives. Ebooks, free ezines, Creatives Club. Love to write? Turn your talent into a business! http://www.digital-e.biz/
Writer, author and journalist Angela Booth has been writing successfully for print and online venues for 25 years. She also writes for business. On her Web site http://www.digital-e.biz/ she conducts workshops and courses for writers.