Indie writing is a peculiar profession. We want to write more – always – but the roadblocks and self-sabotage we put ourselves through is unique.
General productivity sites don’t address our unique issues. You must find sites like the excellent Prolifiko, run by Chris Smith and Bec Evans, to find productivity advice specific to writers. Or you could stay here on The Productive Indie Fiction Writer. 🙂
However, general productivity sites can help writers in other, indirect, and diverse ways, depending upon their focus.
Here are eight of the best, and how they can help your with your writing business.
I love Lifehacker. They started out as a tech-oriented blog, and I learned a lot from them on how to get the best out of any technology I was using. These days, they ramble across a wide range of topics, always presenting hacks and nuggets of information to help you get more out of your life. For example, one of the articles on the front page as I write this post is “How to Know if that Bug in Your House is an Actual Emergency”.
While actual writing advice is rare, Lifehacker will absolutely help you organize the rest of your life so it runs more smoothly and leaves your writing time untrammeled by emergencies. You might even find more writing time, once you put their suggestions into place.
Todoist Inspiration Hub
Link: Todoist Inspiration Hub
I am a bit biased about ToDoist. I have been using ToDoist as my task manager for well over ten years now. I couldn’t get through my business day without it.
ToDoist used to run an excellent blog, full of advice about managing time and finding more of it, organizing your workload, etc.,
That blog is now called the Inspiration Hub. You can subscribe to get their articles via email (which I do). But also spend some time going through the archives – there’s a mountain of treasure there.
The ToDoist Inspiration Hub will help you get a handle on your workload, which is a boon for us overwhelmed indie writers.
Link: Zen Habits
Leo Babauta’s site is absolutely about time management, but he approaches it with a much more holistic, nearly spiritual, perspective. As Leo says, the site is not about productivity for productivity’s sake, but about finding and keeping purpose in mind.
The posts will help you declutter your mind, figure out priorities and improve your focus.
Link: The Productivityist
The Productivityist is nearly the complete opposite to Zen Habits. It is business oriented, and highly commercial, with lots of courses and books on offer, and formal methodologies like “The Six”.
Productivity is their mantra, built into the name of the site.
Writers will get a lot of use out of their blog posts. You can learn to make better business decisions and sort out priorities. It will help you juggle all your business and non-writing challenges.
Full Focus was created by Michael Hyatt. I have all his books in my library, and one of them is specific to writers: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. All his other books have relevance for writers, too.
Hyatt’s site used to be called, simply, Michael Hyatt’s blog. But if you put in the old URL, you are redirected to Full Focus, which is much more shiny and professional.
There is a productivity “channel”, among the business and professional information, and the link I’ve put above links to that Productivity channel. A lot of the advice and suggestions are applicable to writers.
Link: Asian Efficiency
Asian Efficiency is another highly relevant site. They bill their philosophy as “productivity for creatives”, and they take a whole-life approach to managing time, instead of a narrow business focus.
Asian Efficiency can be a bit pushy about “buy my products”, but if you can ignore that, the advice, and suggestions they provide will absolutely help you gain a better work-life balance.
Scott H. Young
Link: Scott H. Young
This blog offers advice on learning, productivity, and effective study techniques, which can be adapted to improve your creative process. He also has a focus on habits (the micro tool of productivity).
Cal Newport’s Study Hacks
I have four of Cal Newport’s books, including Deep Focus. So I was stunned when I found out he sold his first book to New York when he was 17 and still in college.
He’s written a lot more books since, and all of them are best sellers. Deservedly so.
His site and blog have a focus on, well, focusing on work. On avoiding distractions, and getting deep work done. This approach can maximize your writing time and make it more effective.
Finally: Don’t try to add all these sites and their suggestions to your workday, all at once. You’ll quickly become overwhelmed.
Read their blogs for a while and see if the way they approach time management and productivity suits you, or is useful.
Only then start adopting some of their ideas, preferably one at a time, while you test and see how effective the new strategy or tool is.
You’re already overwhelmed. Be smart about adding more to your plate; even if that “more” is supposed to help you handle everything else.