How to organise yourself to be a more productive writer

Writing shouldn't be stressful. Check out how you can remove blocks and be a prolifically productive creator

…and create the freedom to do more of what you love

The romantic picture of a writer who is inspired by a muse that powers every day’s writing is not quite accurate.

As a writer and content creator, you need inspiration, but inspiration can be an elusive thing. Inspiration comes to you when your mind is not bogged down with a myriad of tasks on your To Do list and when you are stressed and overwhelmed.

To be inspired, you need to create space. Literally and mentally.

#1 - Creating space for writing

There are different types of space that you should create to be a productive writer:

  • A physical writing space that fosters focus
  • A distraction and disruption-free time slot
  • Mental space that allows you to focus
  • Ideation space that fosters a free-wheeling mind
  • A positive mindset space where you believe in the purpose of your writing


A lot has been said about creating a physical writing space and I’d only like to point out that this space needs to be a space where you can be relaxed, where your mind is not distracted by any clutter or commotions going on around you.

I like to have a clear desk and a tidy room. Having clutter around me has the same effect as a To Do list being waved in front of my face screaming “get on with it, there are so many other things you have to finish!”

And that creates a subconscious level of stress for me. You might be different, but I suggest that even if you think it doesn’t make a difference of having a pile of files and dozens of post-it notes in clear sight – it does make a difference!

Even if you think that the post-it notes don’t affect your focus, they do! Remove them and test out the “clear desk” approach for a few weeks. There are more effective ways to manage your reminders and To Do list.


According to a University of California Irvine study, “it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.”

When you let that sink in for a few minutes, then you realise that your productivity drops like a rock when you allow others to disrupt you.

I find that it works best for me to plan my days and schedule writing/creation time. I close my door and if need be, I inform others that I don’t want to be disrupted. I silence my phone and kill notifications. That allows me to enter a “bubble” that makes it a lot easier for me to get into creative flow.

Scheduling your creation time also has the advantage that you allow your mind to settle and reduce or even cancel any subconscious feelings of having to do something else – because you have allotted yourself the time to create and all the other tasks that you need to attend to are scheduled appropriately.

If you still find it hard to start creating and getting into your creative zone – then you could read more about the three phases of creative flow here.

But in a nutshell – remove all the barriers that prevent you from creating. To speed up the process, you can…

  • Create a content calendar so that you are clear about your topic
  • Have a process that takes you into and through creation step-by-step
  • Start creating/writing something even if that is not what you want to write about
  • Try out working with mind maps – they activate the creative part of your brain


How often have you found that you’re not in the right mental place to create?

It doesn’t need to be something significant that distracts you, it can be the awareness of a deadline that you have to meet.

I find it very helpful to give yourself a few minutes to create mental space and to set intentions for your writing session.

Some people like to take the time for a few minutes of meditation, breathing exercises, or a bit of stretching. Setting intentions for every task that’s on your schedule allows you to be more focused because you are conscious of the outcome that you want to achieve.

Ideation falls into this space as well. My go-to approach for ideation is to be out in nature on a walk or run with my dogs. And if I go into my run with a few thoughts that I picked up from a podcast or the topic that I want to write about, then it’s easier to get into this free-wheeling state of mind where movement adds a steady rhythm to my ideation.

Explore what works for you. Some people get ideas when they are in the shower, others through conversations or reading.

And lastly, having a positive mindset supports your creative process. When you believe in what you do and that you are creating your content for a purpose, then that allows you to continue despite the occasional setbacks or struggles that you might encounter.

A positive mindset takes you through those periods when you feel uninspired or when your content doesn’t get much traction.

#2 – The power of planning, routines & habits

I touched on these topics above but want to emphasise that the mundane acts of planning and establishing routines and habits free up mental space and give you the feeling of being in control of your time and actions.

Blocking time in your calendar is one step that you can take. Ideally during a time when your brain is fresh and sharp. I like to write in the mornings and after breaks when I have given my brain time to rest and refresh.

Creating a content calendar is another tool that relieves pressure, saves time, and allows you to get to the task of writing without having to think about what to write about and risking a bout of writer’s block.

You can easily plan your content a month or at least a week ahead BEFORE you sit down to write.

Having a writing or creative process that you can follow, is a big time saver and focus creator because you put yourself on autopilot. I have a 7-step writing process that I routinely use. This process takes me through the whole creation process without stalling.

The scientist Csikszentmihalyi explains that by being in creative flow, you are engaging your whole being in the process. Later studies confirmed that you can be up to 500% more productive when working in a state of flow.

Imagine the difference you can make to your productivity by organising yourself to enter and stay in a state of creative flow.

This allows you to create more content in less time. And that is perfect for batching your content creation.

I like to block my Mondays for content creation. I have a list of topics from my content calendar ready which allows me to work through a number of content pieces in one sitting.

#3 – The importance of foundations

From experience, I can tell that many creators are struggling with content topics. The eternal question of “What shall I write about?” can lead to stalling and mental blocks.

Taking a step further back from creating a content calendar, is to create the foundations that allow you to create large numbers of relevant topics.

I find it important to establish content pillars that are based on a thorough understanding of yourself, your ideal clients, your offer, your brand, and your area of expertise.

Lay these foundations and you’ll never run out of topics because you know what your audience’s information needs are and what kind of topics are helpful and meaningful for your readers.

If you then add a good portion of writing knowledge and a few tools that make your writing even more effective and better to the mix – then you are set up for joyful and productive content creation sessions!

And lastly…

If you want to learn more about any of the things I mentioned in this article, then send me a message. I really love to hear from you!

Categories: : Content Creation, content marketing, Contentwriting, Productvity

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