The Number One Productivity Hack

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Being productive is hard work, as every writer and editor already knows. It takes consistent planning and effort to continually meet our goals. That’s why we’ve handpicked our favourite productivity hack this week to help you maintain and improve your levels of productivity all week long. So what is this life-changing productivity hack?


Stop organizing. Start doing.

Sounds simple enough, right? I’m a huge fan of organisation, mainly because it’s not something I’m naturally great at, so I often have to find tools and techniques to help me be more effective in my day. But sometimes organisation can actually work against us and hurt our levels of productivity. Like any other tool in your arsenal, what’s most important is knowing when to use it and when not to.


The problem with becoming more organised is that it can provide the same sense of accomplishment that the completion of the actual task does, and we can often feel like we’ve already done our day’s work before the actual work has even begun. It’s like when we spring clean our homes. Organising the utensil draw or putting socks into pairs feels like work, right? But we’re really just putting off all the bigger jobs that we know we should be doing!


If you notice yourself getting bogged down with the planning of your day, pick your most important task and get to work on completing it. Check in with your organisation periodically, but try not to spend too much time and creative effort getting it perfect.


How can I avoid getting bogged down with my planning?

Set time aside to plan. To avoid using your planning as a form of procrastination (okay, I’m guilty of this), set a specific slot in your week for getting this done and stick to it.


I like to do most of my planning on a Sunday. I take a look at the past week and consider what got done and what didn’t. I pull out my planner and plan the entire week ahead. Then each day I’ll start by checking my planner and scribbling a rough to-do list for the day. Then I get to work.


As I complete my tasks, I’ll check them off as I go, simply to keep myself motivated, but I try to avoid any further planning for the rest of that day.


I find it far too satisfying writing lists and making plans, but learning when to stop MASSIVELY increased my productivity. Then I realized something. I realized that looking back over the day and seeing that I’d completed a good portion of my work was far more satisfying that looking at a bunch of nice lists and a well-organized work environment.


Why is this so effective?

It’s all about getting out of your own way. When we put down the planner and get to work, we essentially step aside and allow ourselves to slip into the flow of our working day. Achieving any kind of goal requires consistency. By ensuring that we’re actually completing tasks each and every day, we pave the way for our success. The small tasks accumulate into big tasks and weeks, months and years down the line, we’ll have done the work necessary to realise our goals!


Have a great week!

Peter Turley god of the word

Peter Turley

About the author

Peter Turley is a writer, editor, podcaster, education, and training professional and academic from the North West of England, UK.

His love for the written word began with reading and writing fantasy fiction before moving into the world of non-fiction writing self-improvement articles back in 2010.

In 2018 Peter graduated with an Honours degree in Creative Writing and English Literature and progressed onto an MA in Creative Writing, graduating in 2019.

Although an experienced editor of fiction, over the course of his studies his lifelong fondness for poetry grew into his preferred medium driven by his desire for linguistic clarity and self-expression.

In late 2018, he was honoured to represent his university in reading a collaborated piece at the London Camarade event which was subsequently published in the Leeds Human Rights Journal exploring the theme ‘Borders’.

In 2020 Peter was accepted onto a Doctorate programme and will commence his PhD in Creative Writing in January 2021.

When he’s not busy working in education and training, reading, writing, editing and studying, you can find him…well, those pursuits pretty much take up all of his time, but you can find him here at the Book Editor Show.

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