Be more productive by doing something you enjoy

I remember going to bed at 5am one morning after finishing three blog posts I had been asked to write. That´s right, I was up all night writing them, not because I put my heart and soul into it, not because they were important academic posts, simply because the subject did not interest me in the slightest.

When I have to write something that is mind-numbingly boring, or what I consider to be of little value, it can easily take me four times as long to do it. As well as leaving it until the last minute with all the stress that causes.

Yolanda Solo

When I write about something I enjoy, the words come easily and the task is finished in a fraction of the time. When I am writing to pay the bills, it takes me forever to get it finished. However, there was a deadline so I had no other choice but to keep at it until they were finished.

I calculate that it took me at least four times as long to write the blog posts as it should have done for the following reasons:

  • I procrastinated and let myself get distracted.
  • I left it until the last minute so I was not in a calm, relaxed, frame of mind.
  • I was writing when I was tired so it took longer to think of what to write.

Writing 400 words is easy. Writing 400 words that include keywords, make sense and are relevant to the topic takes more work. I could have rushed through and delivered an average piece of work, but that is not in my character, and is completely counter-productive if you want to get repeat business.

Which is why I crawled into bed at 5am, only to find that I couldn´t sleep! As 6am rolled up and I knew I only had one hour of sleep left before I had to get the kids up, I cursed myself for faffing yet again.

Lessons you can learn from my mistakes

  • Do it now! Remember that annoying saying older people used to tell you as a child “Don ´t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Wise words!
  • Don´t sacrifice your sleep because you will kill your productivity for the next day.
  • Do something you enjoy – you will do it better and faster than something you feel obliged to do.

It has been a long time since I did an all-nighter, and I take is as a reminder to get on with working for myself instead of working for others writing crap!

Baby steps

Make little improvements each day.

Accept that you have a certain way of working and find projects and jobs that match your style.

Don´t waste time beating yourself up because you didn´t do something a certain way – focus on what you can do to avoid that situation in the future. In my case being more organised wouldn´t work. I had to find something else to work on suited me better.

You can do the same.

Yolanda Solo
Author: Yolanda Solo

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