How to be productive when writing from home

Writing from home can be a freeing experience – sometimes too freeing.

2nd December 2017
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

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Before you know it one can end up in their pyjamas, in bed, watching TV or scrolling through Facebook videos and getting nothing written.

Writing from home needs to be regimented just like other work. Otherwise, you run the risk of simply “getting to it tomorrow.”

You can do that, sure – or you could "seize the day" and tackle that scene you've been meaning to get to – you know the one, where Jeremy finally realises the truth about Steve...

Here are a few Mandy News pointers that might help:

Pick a time and stick to it
Being your own boss makes it tempting to stay in bed in the morning – what? are you going to be late? But lounging around in bed can have a knock-on effect on your productivity throughout the day. You should be treating writing like you would any job – get up, shower, eat something, get a pot of coffee on and settle down to tackle some pages.

Have a place to work that's not your bedroom
This isn't an option for everyone but there's a reason we see numerous people writing in coffee shops – it's a place to go that isn't the same four walls you wake up to. Leaving the house and going somewhere to write makes it feel like you're doing a job and not just lounging around at home eating biscuits.

You don't have to go to a café – just getting out of your bedroom and into another room of the house is good. This separates your workspace and your relaxing/sleep space. This will not only improve your focus on work but also help you sleep better.

Get enough sleep
Speaking of sleep, getting a healthy dose of high-quality z's really is important. Your brain works better when it's not fogged up by sleep deprivation. Sleep as many hours as you know you need to function at your best. There are also sleep cycle alarm clocks that wake you in your lightest sleep phase so you don't feel like hitting that snooze button.

Eat well
Some of these things might seem obvious, but diet is another extremely important factor in you excelling at writing from home. Fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates will feed your brain better than a diet of sugar, salt and fat. 

It can be tempting to live on crappy food; microwave meals, take away, chocolate and fizzy drinks and they're fine in moderation, but eating healthy will make you a more productive writer and help to avoid the dreaded sugar crashes.

Exercise
Writing is physical inactivity. Your brain is working overtime but your body is doing relatively little. Taking a break to go for a walk, run, stretches or some weight exercises is good for you to do anyway, but especially important if your job is particularly inactive. 

Exercise is also good for your mind, and getting away from the computer for an hour or so will clear your mind. And you might even solve that problem you were having with Jeremy and Steve...

Turn the internet off
Yes, you won't get that email right away, or see that GIF on Facebook where the dog does a thing, but you also won't enter the dreaded void of endless YouTube videos because you checked that email. Or think "what are you even writing this stupid thing for anyway? This video about how crayons are made is far more interesting." Turn the internet off. It is your enemy. 

And stop reading this article, too – go and do some work.