Lots of you complain about not being very productive. I have two suggestions for this issue.

First, assuming you already have set actual work hours (and if you haven’t, you need to), try starting much earlier in the day. I know for many of you that will sound impossible, but I swear it is completely possible. I know, I’ve done it.

I used to be a stay-up-late kind of woman. Mornings were, thus, hell. I made the conscious choice to change that. A good way to make that happen is to not only have a set bedtime (which is good for your health, by the way), but to move that bedtime up by 15 minutes every couple of days and your wakeup time as well. Before you know it, and without feeling like you have been through some sort of withdrawal, you’ll be getting up as early as you choose.

I get up usually at around 5:45a now and rarely have to use an alarm to do that. I can get a run in, or other exercise, and still be at my desk working by 7:30, if not even earlier. I get more done before noon every day (and especially before 10a) that I ever do in the afternoon. There are lots of reports and articles (like this one) suggesting that is pretty normal–that is, that one gets more done early in the day.

Yes, even creative pros.

Second suggestion for productivity? Turn off social media and email for most of your day. Those “tools” are big distractions and pull us away from what we need to focus on, including creative work. If you need to, set a timer and work for, say 50 minutes then take a 10 minute break to check FB, etc. If you have to post things for your work, schedule that as well and do only that–make your posts then get off the computer (at least get off the social media). If there are posts or links you want to check on, make them for later… for your break time.

Basically, we’re talking about a sort of discipline to your day. Creatives, especially younger ones, often fight this idea as they think artists aren’t supposed to create on a schedule or something. The reality is, the most successful artists are disciplined and schedule their lives and their work. It’s not selling out to the man to actually treat your job like a job–it’s possibly one of the best things you can do for your business.

6 Responses to “Productivity”

  1. Anthony Kurtz Says:

    I struggle with this all the time but lately, instead of feeling bad every time I go to bed late and wake up late, I started working with it. Getting to my studio by 2pm and working til 10pm. Going to bed a 2am. I think that people have different times of the day when they feel more productive. Why is it that we all have to conform to the sun or the schedule of a “typical working man”?

  2. Giovanna Grueiro Says:

    Wonderful post. It have been trying to wake up early but the withdrawals can be overwhelming. Thanks for the tips!

  3. info Says:

    No one says you have to, but the studies do seem to indicate that for most people, earlier is better. There is a lot of science behind the health benefits of sleeping when it is dark (and thus working when it is light) too.

  4. John Early Says:

    Totally agree Leslie. Great points. While I am admittedly not a morning person, I recently started getting up earlier on most days and found that I get a heck of a lot more done during those early morning hours before the emails and other distractions start flowing in.

  5. Brian Carlson Says:

    A web app I use to post on social media is Buffer. It allows you to keep a queue of what you want to post on social media and publishes the content at the times you specify. The benefit to Buffer is it’s just for posting, not for perusing. Best of all, it’s free. (By the way, I’m in no way affiliated with Buffer, I just love their product).

  6. Don Mirra Photography Says:

    Sound and solid advice…

    without a doubt setting a weekly schedule in advance is the key to keeping on track and getting things done.