DO WORK: The Productive Process

A question I receive quite often is, “How do you have the time to get so much writing done?” To be honest, I don’t have time, I make time. But it’s not about making time. I could have all of the time in the world and I’d probably use 99% of it to procrastinate. Time is not the key here.

I have a purpose that gives me focus. I have a passion that drives me. I have a process that keeps me productive. This process is the key.

If you are a productive person, or you’d like to become one, you need a process. This is not a choice, this is a requirement. If you don’t have a process, you won’t produce. If you don’t produce, you are defeating the purpose. There’s no point in being passionate about something if you have nothing to show for it. You need a process to produce. You need a productive process.

It is true that each individual’s chosen outlet for productivity is different. It is also true that there are universal musts in order to get anything done. If anyone of these musts is ignored or pushed aside, a significant amount of productive potential is lost. In my experience, the loss of this potential results in frustration, anger, or depression. To help you avoid these pitfalls, I’ve provided the musts of the productive process below.

You must enjoy the process. If you don’t enjoy how you work, it will show in your work. Choose the way you work by how it fits your personality and by how much joy it brings you.

The process must inspire you. Your work can be inspired by people, places, things, and experiences. Your process, however, must be inspiring in and of itself.

There must be a ritual to the process. Coax, seduce, or lure your productivity into the open. A few examples to try are food, music, or taking a walk.

You must have a special place to work. “Special” means somewhere with little to no distractions from the task. A “place” could be something as simple as a specific notebook or a local coffee shop where no one knows you.

You must be ready to work. Have that pen and notebook, or brush and easel, ready pre-process. Whatever your medium, have your tools ready before you begin.

You must do the work. When the previous 5 musts are complete, do work. Your productivity, and the energy you put into the process, will amount to nothing if you don’t. Literally.

There you have it. The productive process. It took me a while to learn it and tailor it to my needs. When I did, I became prolific. If you’d like help tailoring this process to your specific needs, contact me on Facebook or Instagram. I’d love to lend a hand!

Remember, time isn’t the point. It’s what you do with time that matters.


For more practical encouragement, pick up my Wayfaring series!

About Alan V. Nelson

Alan V. Nelson is a writer living in North Carolina. Through the use of fiction and non-fiction, his mission is to encourage hope and healing in others. When he isn't writing, reading, taking pictures, or on a long walk, he can be found enjoying good chai and conversation at a local coffee shop. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram @alanvnelson

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