Updated: May 15, 2020
I am a work-from-home mom to two beautiful, energetic daughters. I started there to give you perspective on just how crazy my life as a writer and an editor is. Before I had my first daughter, I used to spend my days at the neighborhood coffee shop. That's where I could zone in on my projects and tune in to whatever task was at hand. Then I got pregnant and everything changed. I had to become a little more creative when it came to finding time and managing whatever time I had when I had it. Over time, I have realized that the following practices have kept me going and productive.
1. Keep distractions at a minimum (phone, internet, etc.) - distractions are all around you when you write from home. Cellphones, TV, social media, pings, notifications, the interruptions are endless, so you have to have a strategy in place to avoid falling prey them. Turning off all distractions usually takes care of the issue.
2. Set achievable goals and feel good about yourself when you accomplish them - If I am able to cross off 3 tasks on my to-do list, I call it a good day.
3. Take mini breaks to unwind - this is especially important if you're writing at home with children. I try to take frequent breaks to read with them, play with them and answer whatever questions they have, because I have come to realize that all they need is a few minutes of your time and then they are happy to go back to independent play once they have received it. It's a win-win situation most of the time.
4. Carve out a routine/schedule and stick to it - having a clear idea of what each day should look like will help you stay on track. Create a visible schedule if a visual reminder is what you need to stay focused on the day ahead.
5. Develop habits - Schedules, when developed and followed daily, eventually create habits. For instance, I start my day at 3:45 am to get a head-start. Over a few months, this has become my routine. Should I wake up later than that, my whole day is thrown off balance. Developing good habits are essential to meeting your writing goals.
6. Forgive yourself when you slip - Having a good schedule creates good habits that lead to positive results. However, should you slip up - and you will occasionally - forgive yourself and get back on track.
Do you write primarily from home? How do you find time to stay on track and be productive? Share your tips in the comments below. Are you being challenged? Share your frustrations too.