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9 Productivity Hacks From Great Writers for Copywriters of Today

9 Productivity Hacks From Great Writers for Copywriters of Today

Copywriters all over the world face the same difficulties when they start a new project: the emptiness of a blank sheet of paper. No ideas or too many of them, but the same result; it is like someone just handcuffed you and you are unable to write anything. However, once you solve this starting issue, another one emerges: the lack of time. Time for some productivity hacks for writers. Where could you possibly find them? You’ve guessed it: in the mind and work of some of the world’s greatest writers of all time.

Victor Hugo: Always have breakfast

breakfast-hack

    This famous author who started his writing days with a good breakfast was on a great productivity hacks path. His favourite food was raw egg, which is rich in proteins and gives you the necessary energy refill for a new creative day. As there are a lot of proteins in eggs, it is great brain food. But don’t limit your options: go ahead and find your own copywriter’s perfect breakfast recipe by experimenting with meat, veggies or fruits.

    Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway: Write on improvised desks

     

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    Mannequin Artist

      Both these two writers never had a writing desk, but used to improvise: Christie wrote her 80 novels, 19 plays and many other pieces whenever she could. Hemingway wrote standing up. To make the most of this item on the copywriter productivity hacks list try to establish your writing office in the garden or in the kitchen for a couple of days. Changing the landscape could be the trick you are looking for to boost your creativity and productivity, so try to follow the inventor of the genius detective Poirot.

      Frank Lloyd Wright: Make-up a complete sketch in your head before you actually start writing

      sketch productivity

        Some writers like to play with their words and see where it all goes to, but this particular writer needed to have it all figured out before he actually started to write anything. This might also be a great piece of wisdom in terms of productivity hacks, as your mind can work better on those catchy phrases if you already know your content. Plus, some copywriters can come up with real gems when working under pressure.

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        Vladimir Nabolov: Use multiple cards, then order them as needed

        nabokov productivity hacks

          This productivity hack might seem strange, but it sure worked great. Nabokov used to write his ideas on drafts on index cards. He then ordered them, experimenting with different positions, until he got it right. In the world of article writing, this might not work at all, but a copywriter has the opportunity to play with the phrases, chapters and paragraphs in order to create a perfect piece of art.

          Stephen King: Set a daily goal and never let anything distract you from it

          daily goal productivity hacks

            The author of many critically acclaimed books has a goal of 200- words for each day of the year, no matter if it is a holiday or the weather is great for barbecue. By mimicking him you can make a habit of writing and thus, unleash your productivity, as well as your creativity.

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            Anne Rice: Write by night, sleep during the day

            vampire

              The famous author did this to test how a vampire life felt. Just joking! She followed this schedule because she found it easier to write during the night, when there are no distractions. This can be one of the greatest productivity hacks for a copywriter who affords to spend the day sleeping, as many people find it easier to work during the night.

              Jerzy Kosinski: Sleep for 8 hours daily, but not all at the same time

              sleeping beauty

                For those who can’t try the productivity hack of Mrs. Rice, here is another idea of a great schedule: make sure you get eight hours of sleep, but divide them across the day and night. Kosinski woke up at 8 am, worked for some hours, then got a nap, resumed his writing, then completed the sleep hours. This might work great as you actually make sure you don’t over-exhaust your brain and eyes by working long hours.

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                Mark Twain: Get immediate feedback

                feedback

                  This might be a niche productivity trick as not all copywriters do have someone to listen to their writings, but you could at least try it. After you finish your work, read it out loud, even if you are alone in the room. This can increase your productivity and your creativity, while you can make sure there are no mistakes in the text.

                  Henry James and Anthony Trollope: Don’t pause

                  no pause

                    Both of these writers took another project after finishing one, so they almost never paused between writings. This can keep your mind going and decrease the “lazy day” effect, which can kick in after a short break in writing.

                    Featured photo credit: Content writer via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                    The Neurology of Ownership

                    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                    More About Goals Setting

                    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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