When it comes to writing I’m at my most productive in two ways:

1)    By having a deadline (gets me writing every time)
2)    By leaving the house, going to a café and tucking myself away in a quiet corner with a vanilla latte (a good latte, preferably flavoured with caramel or vanilla is very important).

With the dog needing walking, the living room needing hoovering and the internet needing browsing, it’s very easy to get distracted working from home. A deadline gives me focus. I write content for websites such as easyJet holidays and lowcostholidays.com and the deadline can often be for 9am the following day. I don’t mess about when I know I have a deadline. I knuckle down, do any relevant research, write the articles and edit them before emailing them off well before the deadline.

Self imposed deadlines don’t work as well because I know there’s no one to reprimand me if I don’t finish that blog post on time or if I fail to publish my novel by a certain date. I’m working on that though as time management and productivity is vital when you’re a freelancer.

If I really want to get a lot written in a relatively short space of time I simply leave the house and head to a local café. The Tobacco Factory Café in Southville, just a few minutes walk away, is one of my favourites, and I used to quite often walk into the centre of Bristol and settle down on one of the comfy armchairs in Starbucks on Park Street for an afternoon of writing. Music and other people’s conversations fade into the background and I can sit and write without any of the distractions at home that manage to take my attention away from the blog post or article I’m supposed to be focusing on. For me writing on a coffee break can be a very creative time.

Where and when are you at your most productive?

Deadlines and Coffee Breaks
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0 thoughts on “Deadlines and Coffee Breaks

  • 17th October 2012 at 7:55 pm

    You had me at caramel latte!
    Personally I find coffee shops difficult, as there’s always so many people coming and going, and after a while I start to feel self conscious, and expect the staff to come over and demand I either leave or buy something else!
    But I find myself most productive after listening to a meditation CD that is designed to stimulate Alpha-wave brain patterns… I dunno, maybe it’s just my imagination?
    I feel your pain on self-imposed deadlines though. Argh and double argh, in an argh-shaped cup with crushed argh on top. I do struggle a bit, being as how finishing my second book is the only deadline I have, and if it takes until the next millennium the only problem I’ll have is finding a suitable psychic to dictate it through…
    Yeah, it’s a tough one. I’ve made it work this time by telling EVERYONE – I mean really, every bugger I know – that it’ll be on sale before Christmas. Otherwise… well, let’s face it – it wouldn’t be. And yes, I’ve had to clarify a few times that I was in fact promising – Christmas THIS year… :0)

    • 18th October 2012 at 1:42 pm

      I’m lucky there’s a cafe nearby where I never feel self conscious sitting on my own, drinking my caramel latte and writing :-) Perhaps it’s because there are always loads of other people in there working on their laptops. The staff don’t seem to mind either.

      I’ve never considered writing after listening to a meditation CD – I guess it’s whatever works best to get ourselves writing! I’m usually quite creative and can get on with work after taking the dog for a walk – maybe all that fresh air gives me time to think.

      My deadline for publishing my novel was the end of the summer, then I put it back to autumn – like now – but now my aim is, like you, to get it out by Christmas. Absolutely, for definite this time.

      That’s a good idea telling everyone you’re putting your second book on sale before Christmas (this year!) I’m sure you’ll do it and hopefully I will too!

  • 18th October 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Yeah, accountability’s the key: tell enough people and in theory at least, you’ll be embarrassed to let them down! Still, I’m impossible to embarrass, and well used to letting people down, so it doesn’t always have the desired effect… :0)

    • 18th October 2012 at 11:38 pm

      That might work for me as I’m easily embarrassed! I must start telling people that I’m going to publish my novel by the end of the year… then I really might stick to my deadline. We’ll see…


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