Productivity and GTD

How to Declutter Your Writing Ideas and Finish More Projects

AUTHOR: Jennifer Pauli

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Writing projects

There is one significant problem both new and experienced writers encounter. Believe it or not, but the issue is connected with having too many ideas that overwhelm you. Some writers will be surprised by a statement like this. Most of them would say that experiencing crisis and writer’s block is a real problem, while having too many ideas is more like a blessing. We all know how hard it might be to keep yourself in track when working at writing services or keeping a blog. However, let’s approach writer’s block from another angle. Do you remember how many brilliant ideas were buried in your phone’s notes? What about those numerous moments, when a thought stroke your mind all of a sudden and then withdrew into the void? How many shower and night dream thoughts are there in your notebook? These are unwritten stories.

Unrealized ideas must be buzzing inside of your head when you are trying to start a new project. Even when your writing folder is full of ideas, there are moments when you sit in front of your laptop with a blank mind. You can write all of them, but how do you prioritize? What should you do with all those sketches and unfinished projects? Actually, there is no one-size-fits all solution here.

However, there are some tips to clear the clutter and help you focus on projects that are really important and worthy. Let’s discuss them.

Choose the projects that you could finish fast

Take a look at your projects and think if there is one you can finish sooner than any other. This might be a half-written novel or a blog post you have outlined a month ago. Maybe, you have forgotten about one of your articles and left it unfinished because something distracted you. The time has come to find and finish it.

If there is something that you can finish fast, then do it. Finishing a project is inspiring, so it’s great when you can do it quickly. When you are done with one project, it is easier to move further. However, be careful when choosing one. If you archived a certain project because you hated working on it, then you should remove it from the top of your to-do list. Chances are that you will get stuck again and your clutter will stay as it is. It’s crucial to choose something you like, when you start scooping through the heaps.

Get rid of the projects you don’t really need

Yes, giving up projects is not very pleasant. You liked an idea and was passionate about it once. What if this one is really great? That’s scary. But the basis of this fear is a thought that you won’t have any great ideas anymore. No worries – you will. Even when you abandon projects, your efforts are never in vain, because you learn and experiment. This helps you grow and get stronger and better ideas. Let your old and archived projects be some sort of exercising to improve your skills. If you don’t want to delete them completely, then just put them aside.

What do you need to finish every project?

Now when your documents are sorted, it’s time to think how to deal with them. Take a look at an unfinished project and think what steps do you need to take to get it done. Let’s say you have a large unedited novel to be proofread and polished. Or maybe you have an article that lacks research, blog post with a weak structure, partially written story that needs some feedback, etc. Have a plan in your head and this will help you move in a right direction.

Prioritizing your projects

When you are done with the first project, you should prioritize the rest. Choose other tasks that can be finished faster and stick to them. However, the longer ones also require your attention. If you have a piece you cannot finish for years, chances are that you don’t want to keep it unfinished for another year.

It’s great to keep your projects organized and set deadlines for your tasks. Do you want to have your article published next month? Two months? Time limits will motivate you to keep working.

Conclusion

When you have a heap of unfinished projects, it might be difficult to approach it. These tips are pretty general, but they will help you keep your workflow under control. Also, following these steps you won’t lose your previous ideas and keep moving forward.

Of course, new ideas will keep emerging. This means that you will have to organize, reorganize, outline, and prioritize your projects all the time. This is not a one-time procedure, so keep these tips in mind! Hopefully, they will help you stay in track and be less overloaded. Good luck!

Jennifer pauli
Jennifer Pauli
@pauli_jennifer

Jennifer graduated from Corvinus School of Management and finished the faculty of Journalism at Corvinus University of Budapest. Currently, she is an editor, business writer, and copywriter, working with 1ws.com and other well-known companies, blogs, and personalities. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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