tools for better productivity and creativity

Productivity Tools for Creative Work

Today I wanted to share something I think is useful for any type of creative work. Be it writing, painting, photography etc. Whatever it is that you need to be absorbed in, to create the best version of your idea. I’m talking deep work, the type of creative work where you can get lost in it.

To achieve this type of focus you need concentration on your technique and ideas.

You definitely don’t need distractions, but distractions are so enticing, aren’t they? Quickly just checking Twitter, or reading the latest headlines, or perhaps for you its that long list of household chores that are competing for your attention.

The thing is you can get all the things done that you need to, with a bit of focus.

My productivity methods and tools are as follows;

  1. Don’t try and multitask. Focus, focus, focus. on one thing at a time and do it well.
  2. If you’re overwhelmed make a list, and then another list of the items on the first list, but this time in priority order. Check out this old post for more on lists and time management.
  3. Put your phone in another room if you need to!
  4. Block out noise from neighbours, the tv, the kids or whatever you find distracting. I use A Soft Murmur a lot (heavy rain/thunderstorms is my Go To) but if you prefer background noise that is more human, then Coffitivity feels like you are in a coffee shop.
  5. If you are struggling, then a reward system might work for you. Combine this with the Pomodoro technique and you could get a lot done, but not feel tied down in a restrictive way. I use this app- Bear Focus Timer.
  6. Batch work can really help with any type of work. I find this works best for me with Instagram, I admit I have skipped this a bit recently, I need to get back in the habit. For example, taking photos and editing them so they are ready to be posted. I plan out my grid using the free version of Planoly.
  7. As a creative type, you might have a newsletter that you send out or you might just keep a track of useful articles to reference later or share with your followers. I use Pocket for this. You can save things here for later, as and when you find them. Which hopefully means you won’t get distracted by them, because you know you can read it later at your leisure.
  8. These last two are writing tools but both help with my productivity. Quickly being able to check something sounds right or finding a better way of saying it. Grammerly for things like emails and blog posts. Hemingway Editor for better communication of my intended message.

I hope these tools and ideas are helpful to you.

Please share what you use to help you get work done. I’m always on the lookout for things to help me. Thanks!

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22 Comments

  1. Jenny Leonard

    You are so much more professional than I am. The first one made me laugh – I was distracted by this whilst half way through writing a toy review! Hahahaha I know that is mu biggest problem. I get so much more done at night, and it’s because I have less distractions. I don’t want to work at night though, I want the evenings off! šŸ˜€
    I shall check out your lists post because I am a big lover of lists.

  2. hodgepodgedays

    I can really struggle with my productivity at times. It’s pretty hard to cut out the distractions of home, so these are some really great tips. I’ll be pinning for later!

  3. Dee

    This is so helpful! I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately and have decided to start batching work together instead of just going down a long to-do list.

  4. Anna International

    This is a brilliant post! I love the Pomodoro technique and lists are definitely my friend. I find it hard to listen to anything while working as I am an editor and any music with words somehow ends up on my page! But the bird song on A Soft Murmur is amazing! I also definitely wanted the Bear timer app, so cute, but it seems to be broken for Android at the mo šŸ™ x

  5. Kirsty

    Susie! This is such a helpful post and exactly what I needed to read today! Iā€™m the worst for trying to multitask because all I end up doing is scrolling!

  6. Kathryn

    Lots of great tips and links here thanks Sue. I think my phone is the biggest distraction. I wonder what else I did with all my time before smart phones!

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