The Word Leader Podcast

307. How to Stay Focused and Productive When Writing

August 31, 2022 Leandre Larouche
The Word Leader Podcast
307. How to Stay Focused and Productive When Writing
Show Notes Transcript

It can be hard to stay focused and productive when working on a long piece of writing. One thing I have noticed about myself is that varying where I write helps me a great deal in staying focused. I enjoy being in different environments, in different positions (sitting, standing), and using different devices. I have three different locations where I write in my apartment, and I also frequently go to coffee shops. I also have three devices I use to write: a mac mini, a Macbook, and an iPad. Having these different devices helps me vary where and how I write, which is extremely valuable.

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It can be pretty hard to stay focused on a piece of writing, especially if it's a long piece of writing, like a book, a long blog post, or perhaps a piece of content or a letter. So what I like to do in order to stay focused and to stay productive, is I like to vary where I write. So what I've noticed about myself, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to be like that, what I've noticed is that after a certain amount of time, I feel like I want to be elsewhere, I want to be writing somewhere else, I don't like being stuck in the same location. 

So what I do is I have about three places in my apartment where I write; I have my main office, which is the den, behind glass doors, then I have a second bedroom, which is a guest bedroom, where I have a portable standing desk on a Drower. So that serves as the second office. So I can go in right there. And I can actually stand up. So that gives me a little bit of variety as well. Now one other thing, one other location where I might find myself writing is at the kitchen table. So at the dinner table, that's another place where I will sometimes write. And on very rare occasions, I'll also write on the couch, I'll use my laptop, so I'll be on the couch. 

Now, there are more ways, there are more places where I could write. So for example, my portable, my portable standing desk, what I can do is I can take it from the guest bedroom and put it on my coffee table in front of my television from my couch. So that gives me another area where I can write using my laptop. And so giving myself this variety actually helps me stay productive, and it helps me write longer than if I had to be in the same location. Now, of course, if I want to, I can also go and write at a coffee shop using my laptop, as well. So I would suggest if you have a long piece of writing that you need to do is very your location. 

Now, the other factor that you have to consider is the device that you're using. So perhaps you're using a desktop computer, perhaps you're using a laptop; I believe most people work on a laptop. But anyway, in my case, I typically work on a desktop; it's a Mac mini plug to two monitors. So that's my main workstation. I also own a MacBook. So my MacBook is synced on my iCloud with my Mac Mini. So any edits that I make to a document will be saved on the iCloud. And because of that, I'm able to quickly and easily go from one device to the other.

Now I'm guilty. I'm a big apple person. So I also have an iPhone and an iPad. So these files are also synced on these devices. So what's really cool about this is that if I decide I want to go to the coffee shop, but I don't want to take my bag or backpack and carry my laptop, what I can do is I can take my iPad and I have a little Bluetooth keyboard that I can use. And because my files are synced on iCloud, then I can ride from the coffee shop on my iPad. If I were on the bus, I could also write on my iPhone. Now I don't typically do that because I don't enjoy writing on a phone except for text messages or short very short pieces. But these devices that are all synced together, they allow me to have this flexibility when I moved from one location to another for example right now I am speaking to you from my main workstation, and my office, and there's my laptop on the coffee table in the living room so I could go there and in fact, that's probably what I'm going to do after this. I'm going to go edit a client's book, so that will probably happen in the living room. 

So this is just something that you might want to consider as you write long pieces if you find yourself in a place where you need to get some variety in order to stay focused in order to stay productive. So I hope that this was helpful and I will talk to you soon