When Laurie Childree asked me what the theme was for my vacation, I told her no theme. She said, “I can do that!” She is here today to talk about productivity, WIP, excuses and fear. Oh, yes. They all go hand-in-hand. Grab a cuppa.
Productivity is directly related to how a person feels despite what they have to accomplish to make a living. It’s not easy to work when you can barely sit up; and forcing the issue can result in the quality dropping. The weather can affect how work is done; writers have different inspiration sources, and some require sunshine. Depression is counterproductive to productivity unless of course it is the muse that lends to creation. The amount of people in the home can affect it; everything can affect productivity.
There are things sitting in the WIP that have not been touched in months, and you do not have the energy to touch them. What are you going to do? The ideas were there when you began, but somewhere along the way the energy
was sucked out began to decrease for finishing them. Deadlines were set in an attempt to get back to them, only to be ignored as the energy and inspiration failed to come.
When the lack of productivity affects income, it makes it even more vital to ensure that something is done to cure it. The WIP can be full of half-started projects, but finding time to complete even one of them can be more than a little difficult. Daily distractions are used as an excuse when the ability to schedule
leaves us banging our heads against the wall eludes us. There are always going to be things that life requires us to take care of, sometimes interfering with the creative process.
Writers are generally in the work from home group making the ability to tune out daily demands increasingly difficult. The luxury of going off to the work place and then home so the lines are clearly defined is not had; they are up to the writer to draw. The time that something takes to complete can be directly related to the interest in the subject most days.
What would a typical day for a work at home mother look like? That is solely dependent on the age of the child; the day definitely gets a bit easier when the child begins to attend school, providing homeschooling is not done. The most productive hours for those working from home with children often occur when the child is asleep, at school or in the care of someone else. Scheduling is done roughly around bedtimes, school hours and outside appointments.
The biggest hindrance to productivity becomes the need to sleep. The world revolves around daylight for little children; schools are in at set hours, and buses run early morning making all night writing sessions scarce during the school year. Paying work takes priority over creativity, unless of course you have reached the stage where your creative pays the bills. A calendar on the desk marks deadlines, appointments and blocks of time that you hope to spend working.
The practice of opening multiple screens to work on multiple items at once is one most are familiar with as they struggle to separate being at home during the day and working. Productivity on personal products is increased when breaks for coffee, a smoke or whatever else are combined with a notebook to jot down the ideas that are flowing before they are lost. There are those that keep notes on scraps of paper, receipts and any other available surface.
Paying projects ideally can be broken down into steps with specific amounts of time set aside for each step. Items requiring no research can often be allotted a set amount of time to finish in, each item broken down individually to give you an idea of how on track you are according to your own schedule.
Now, back to the WIP that you’d rather be doing than paying work in an effort to break free from the daily grind that defeats the purpose of why you chose this lifestyle to begin with. The items in it could sit for hours, months or years untouched beyond the original idea if the thought of ever finishing becomes something that you dread. The fear of having your work exposed to the world under your name could be the demon that is hindering the productivity.
The reasons that you are not productive could be non-existent. List them: each excuse, appointment and item that took priority over your own personal work. The end result will have you attempting to eliminate the excuses and polish the works that you have neglected for so long.
What time of day are you the most productive? Do you still pull all night sessions to finish something? Is the thought of opening a project you laid to rest long ago terrifying?