Daily Distractions

I sat down to write the other day—only to remember that I had an email to write.

Once I wrote the email, I remembered that I had to put my wet laundry in the dryer. After that, I saw some trash on the ground in my room and decided to pick it up—which reminded me that I needed to do the dishes. While doing the dishes I became hungry, so I made myself lunch. After eating, I finally sat down to write again, only to find myself staring blankly at the screen with no ideas. The second I actually started typing, a family member called and asked me to help with something. 

Writing Is Work…

And that’s how a typical unproductive writing day usually goes for me… It’s an all-out war between my personal life and my business life.

Writing is my job, but it’s also something that I enjoy doing.

Because I actually like to write, I don’t always think of it as work. Instead, I think of it as a hobby that isn’t as important as “real” work, like odd jobs, household chores, and errands that need to be done.

But as I said, I’m a full-time writer—not a full-time housekeeper. If I keep putting other things before my writing, I’ll miss all my deadlines and I won’t make any money. 

Internalized Chaos

My mentor told me that sometimes our internal state mirrors our external state—which for me right now is complete chaos on all sides.

That being said, I just moved back from Ohio, and ended up spending an entire month in The Netherlands without ever having a chance to unpack my belongings. So is it any wonder that I’ve been so unfocused?

And does that mean that if I just take the time to unpack and organize all my things that I’ll suddenly become more productive in my writing?

Well, yes…I’d say it does mean that (but I’ll keep you posted on how it goes).

Methods of Mending The Madness

In fact, there are also a few other methods I’ve been using to calm the chaos and make time for my work.

#1 Writing Sprints

I recently learned that writing sprints can be super helpful for when I have limited time but want to get at least a little writing done.

In general, I like to sprint for 33 minutes.

Why 33? Because it takes me at least a minute or two to figure out how and where I want to start writing, so if I only had 30 minutes to write, I’d be down to 28 by the time I actually started writing.

This sprinting method has been super effective for me so far, and when I use it I’ve found that I can get up to 750 words written during the 33 minutes (don’t ask me if any of those 750 words are good—that’s why editing exists).

#2 Investing In Organization

I have quite a few deadlines, meetings, events, and other projects at the moment, so the last thing I want to do is forget about one of them.

I ended up buying myself a weekly planner and a wall calendar to help me keep up with all the dates…and just having it makes me feel more productive.

Money isn’t the only thing I had to invest in organization though. 

It takes a bit of time to write out projects and put dates into a calendar—but it’s definitely been worth it for me.

#3 Saying No

This one has been really hard. I don’t like saying no—especially not to things that I want to do, like hanging out with family, or cool new projects and work opportunities.

But I’ve had to remind myself that writing is my job (as flexible as it is), and I have to be strict about my time if I want to succeed.

That doesn’t mean I have to work all day and can never do fun things or hang out with my family. I just need to protect my writing time.

Writing and working during weekdays means my evenings and weekends are free to spend however I want!

Dealing with chaos isn’t easy (or fun), but I don’t plan to let it stop me from doing what God called me to do.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off slaying chaos with the sword of organization!

Before You Go…

How do you organize your own life and projects? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

Read last week’s blog here!

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