Many people today feel pressure to be immediately responsive to every request, no matter when it is received, no matter from whom it is received, and regardless of the method it is delivered. So that you can focus and be more productive in your writing when you work at home, may I respectfully encourage you to “downshift” your responsiveness in these areas:

1. Answering the door: Just because someone is knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell does not mean you have to answer, particularly if you don’t know who the person is. This is particularly true if you are alone in your house.

2. Answering the phone: More and more, no matter how many “do not call lists” you are on, your home phone seems to be fair game for “surveys,” “checking on your satisfaction with our service,” political calls, and any number of robo-calls. It’s horrid. Either let your machine pick up, screen the calls and only pick up those from people you know, or just call back those you want to talk with. There’s no need to be like Pavlov’s dogs with the sound of a ringing phone. Many people write at home and supposedly do so because there are less distractions. Make sure you don’t allow the phone to distract you.

3. Text messaging: I think my articles are read by adults, so I will be hopeful that you are not texting all day everyday (because if you are, your writing agenda is sorely behind!) However, even though text messages can be incredible convenient and offer opportunities for real-time problem solving, they can also be a major distractor and detractor for productivity. Downshift your responsiveness on texting, as appropriate.

4. Friend (or connection) requests on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter (or other Social Media): That’s all I’m going to say. It’s not urgent and it’s not important. Get to it when you get to it.

5. Face to face requests from people in your family: If you “hop to” any request, no matter how minor and no matter what else you are engaged in at the time, begin to downshift your responsiveness. You are not anyone’s servant nor at anyone’s beck and call. Be reasonably responsive to reasonable requests.

That last sentence applies for all of these. Be reasonably responsive to reasonable requests. If someone makes an unreasonable request, well, then I would carefully consider any response to that request.

If you will downshift your responsiveness in the five areas I have listed above, you can “upshift” your responsiveness and productivity as it relates to writing. And isn’t that what you want?

And for hundreds of sets of Top Ten Productivity Tips like these - with a whole series dedicated to writers - you’re invited to join others around the globe who subscribe (free) to one of the Top Ten Productivity Tips series.

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