An overlooked aspect of self-publishing is dedication. In order to accomplish your self-publishing goals, you need to put in a set amount of time at your work space every day. It’s best to be consistent, to have routines, and to expect results from your writing and working sessions. Inspiration and vision are important, but so are focus and reliability.
The key to working longer and more effectively is to spend quality time at your desk. When you make your work area distraction free, you can easily form habits that allow you to work longer hours and complete the projects you start.
In order to form habits that you can stick with, make sure:
- you intend to work for a set amount of time when you sit down at your desk
- keep your desk and your working area clean, but not sterile
- you reward yourself (but only when you complete projects and milestones!)
The following tools and resources can help you become more productive in your work area. You’ll start to maximize the time you spend writing and minimize the time you waste on distractions.
- Stay Focused and Freedom
StayFocusd is a free Chrome browser extension that keeps you on task. From their website:
You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, blown through 200 pages of Reddit, read every article in your Twitter feed, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia…
What you haven’t done is WORK. StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
If this sounds familiar, you might want to give StayFocusd a try.
Freedom is a similar app for phones, tablets, and computers with more browser support that costs $2.50 per month after a free trial.
- An ergonomic workstation and a footrest
There are many websites and guides to help you adjust your monitor, chair, and desk height. Sitting up straight at a good angle allows you to work longer without pain or frustration. This website provides a good, comprehensive overview of how to adjust your workspace. Most writers completely overlook the importance of sitting up straight and using a desk correctly. The difference it can make is enormous.
It may sound strange if you’ve never used one, but a footrest can make the time you spend at your desk much more comfortable. There are many different types of footrests: heated, cooled, adjustable, and so forth.Focus Writer
FocusWriter goes a step further than StayFocusd. Designed for writers, it includes tools like an alarm clock, a goal tracker, custom background images, mouse gestures, and more. This software blocks out distractions. One of the nicest things about FocusWriter is its ability to let you focus on a single paragraph. The feature goes above and beyond in helping you stay hyper-focused on the task you have at hand, making it easy for you to work through distractions and keep yourself on task. FocusWriter is a free download.
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