Since you need to pitch and write on a computer, it is so easy to get distracted! These are some of my best practices and productivity tips for writing:
Set aside time.
We’re all busy and I, myself, have two toddlers so sometimes “setting aside time” looks like 20 minutes to myself when my husband is home. Whatever the amount of time, dedicate it to one task. So choose if that will be pitching, writing, researching editors and contacts or brainstorming ideas.
Batch (aka don’t multitask!)
Again, you’re setting aside time for that one task. Batching is very popular these days and, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s completing one task at a time. For example, spending one hour writing blog posts rather than spending that hour broken up into blog post writing, brainstorming pitch ideas, researching editors, posting to social media and checking email.
I’ve heard the analogy that goes something like: think of the end result if you kick one soccer ball five times vs five soccer balls, once each.
Set a timer.
You might not need this if you have other pressing needs when the time you set aside ends but you still have distractions. If you really want to check your email or social or check your phone, set a timer for when you get to take a break or finish your current task.
(I will be 100% honest and admit that I have never used this but I’ve heard rave reviews from so many sources about this timer cube and I’ve been meaning to try it forever.)
Create a distraction-free space.
No, you do not need a special, dedicated home office to be a writer. I’ve written most of my articles from my kitchen table. Just eliminate as many distractions as you can from the space you’re using at that moment. Close other browser windows and set your phone in another room or, at the very least, upside down without any audible notifications.
Figure out when you work best.
In my dream life, I get a lot of work done early in the morning. In my real life, I take a very long time to fully wake up in the morning and one of my children is a major early riser so I tend to write during naps, mid-day when my husband is home and, most often, after my kids go to bed.