SPA Girls Podcast – EP70 – Productivity Hacks for Writers

This week we give some of our best writer productivity hacks – ie a big ole list of tips to increase your productivity, based on things that we do each week to help us write more!

From exercise tips and the best writing apps to use, to setting routines and ways to stay in the flow, we give you the best tips that we could find to help keep you writing!


Preparing your mind and body

Wendy – She goes through the process every morning a routine getting her head ready by doing the things that need to be done.She uses a rake/piranha mat! Apparently helps her focus. Intense pain initially then a warm fuzzy feeling. (yeah, right)

Shar – Has also got the mat – WTH? Uses the Headspace App on her iPhone first thing in the morning for 10minutes guided meditation. Calms anxieties. Keeps her focused and makes getting on with work much easier.

Cheryl – Gets up and has breakfast, treadmill, stretches and then back to work for five days a week. If you sit a lot then you need to stretch a lot.

Trudi – No real regime but eats properly and does Karate to unwind.

Find things that you can use to move on and calm your busy mind.



Trudi – Followed Wendy’s lead by writing in the evenings by her husband with headphones on. Made her hugely productive and now they watch less TV. Also, now gets up early and find this is a better time of day to write. Is more productive.

Had an app for a year that measures how long you are on each program! ( Very big brother)

Cheryl – The queen of lists, she tries to schedule things that I can achieve in the time available. I find being flexible helps when you have more, or less, time that you thought.

I write at my PC in my office – sitting or standing. I edit at the kitchen table with a printed manuscript, a highlighter and pen plus a water bottle. It keeps me on the seat and off social media.

Shar – Likes to observe, so keeps track of how she is feeling when and where she writes. Turns out it’s anywhere but her desk is more creative for her.

Tried cafes and libraries with mixed results.

Different ways to write. Timed, working with other people in sprints, hand written, PC or Neo.

Broaden your horizons by trying something new.

Wendy – Needs a clear head – likes to be fresh so she can write anytime of the day. Will put away her work if it turns to rubbish. Writes better in the morning and edits in the afternoon.

Be aware of when you need to get off electronic devices so that you can relax before bedtime.



Experiment and find the best for you.

Just because something worked or works most of the time, doesn’t mean you can’t change.

Use a diary, post its or lists every day.



Shar – Justifies social media as it is part of her job so needs to turn of modem and stay away from social media. Uses an alpha smart Neo which is not connected and is battery operated.

Accept you need help to do this sometimes.

Trudi – Struggles to get off Social Media

Wendy – Her distraction is different to normal people – she has to force herself to stop writing (we hate her!) and spend time on social media and other aspects of the business.

Uses noise cancelling headphones, but could write at an airport!

Cheryl – Distractions come in many forms and Cheryl gets busy with the family. Grandchildren are huge time sucks, but enjoyable, therefore compromises must be made and occasionally the word no is used when it comes to babysitting.


Set Daily Priorities

Cheryl – Uses a Diary for daily work and checks the day before. It’s a good idea to get your bug bears done first thing in the morning. Has a list for absolutely everything! But keeps them all together.

Trudi – Has a list so that she doesn’t have to remember things from the day before.

Shar – Has outlook tasks set up but is overwhelmed by what she has to do, she writes about three things on a post it notes and if she does those priorities she’s a happy camper.

Wendy – Also uses lists and a diary.


Training Yourself to work anywhere in any mood

Cheryl – Can write in sprints with friends but can’t work in front of TV. Competitiveness.

Trudi – Prefers silence but is training herself to not use her headset. Believe s you can train yourself to write anywhere if you really need to.

Wendy – Uses music to fit her book but can and does write anywhere at any time.

Shar – Has worked in noisy offices and also believes you can write anywhere.


Planning what you are going to write each day

There’s nothing worse than looking at a blank page with no idea what to write next.


Setting Targets – Daily or weekly

Just set a target, any target. Word count, pages, a scene, a chapter anything that works.

Make it achievable but push yourself a little.

Book in edits or other deadlines so that you can break your work into


How to stay in the flow

No-one wants a saggy middle. 😉 Understand when you are most creative – that’s the time you’ll be in the flow. You may need to retrain yourself!

Use a sentence or a paragraph from the day before that sets you up for the next scene or chapter.

Use dragon dictation, Notes on your phone and at the very least a notebook and pen.

Write from start to finish.

‘The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.’

2k to 10K – Writing Efficiency

Rachel Aaron

SPA Girls

Author: SPA Girls

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