Sign in

How to be a successful writer? Well, first of all, you have to write because this is what writers do.

Just sit down and write. Every day. Not once a month when you feel inspired. Not someday when you’ll create ideal conditions for writing.

In other words: create a writing routine and stick to it.

What is a writing routine?

Essentially, a writing routine is a scheduled, consistent sequence of actions that gets you to write every day (or almost every day, if you take days off from writing). …

Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

Tired of all that productivity advice that just doesn’t work unless you have an army of assistants and household helpers? Well, here’s a realistic schedule for working moms who happen to be freelancers.



  • Wake up and try to recreate that morning routine you found in Pinterest.
  • Get kid to daycare.
  • Overdose on your favorite caffeinated beverage, hoping that it will put you into the flow state.
  • Actually work for an hour or two before getting distracted.


  • Try to cope with the side effects of the abovementioned beverage.
  • Cook a meal that’s hopefully edible.
  • Pick kid up from daycare…

Image by Amanda Randolph from Pixabay

I have to admit I was pretty late to try and jump on the bullet journal bandwagon. I started in mid-September 2020… and by mid-November, I’m giving up.

Here’s what happened.

I started bullet journaling out of curiosity because, well, so many people seemed to love it. Unfortunately, my initial enthusiasm lasted about a week.

Arrows, arrows, more arrows

My to-dos and priorities often change throughout the day. In Nozbe, I’d just drag things around within their respective projects and contexts. In a journal, I was suddenly faced with a ton of stuff that wouldn’t let me prioritize or reorder itself.

So I had…

Lukas Bieri / Pixabay

Do you write a well-structured to-do list in the morning… only to see the day get completely derailed by 10 am?

Do you get a new productivity app every week… only to witness a 0% increase in productivity?

Do you sit down for a deep work session… only to find out that you feel like a computer that’s out of RAM and on the verge of freezing?

Well, no matter which productivity system or hack you’re trying out, you’re probably missing out on the most important thing. There’s a single underlying reason why you’re not productive despite your best efforts.

Your Mind Is Like A Room… And It’s Too Cluttered To Focus

Kat Jayne / Pexels

When my son was born, I felt that my world was broken into a million shards and there I was, desperately trying to put them together with trembling, bleeding fingers.

Breastfeeding felt like a violation of my body and my personal space (I gave up after a week).

My son’s crying caused me actual physical pain, as if someone were drilling a hole in my skull.

The lack of routine was devastating. I felt that life was spiraling out of control and that I was no longer safe.

Wait, what?

Motherhood is supposed to be blissful. There’s this instant bond…

A man is sitting on a bench in a park, typing on a laptop. There’s a coffee and a lit lamp next to him.
A man is sitting on a bench in a park, typing on a laptop. There’s a coffee and a lit lamp next to him.
Comfreak / Pixabay

Does everyone around you swear by the Pomodoro technique but you just can’t make it work for you?

Well… the Pomodoro technique is just a tool, and just like any tool, it’s not universal. There are three major disadvantages that can make Pomodoros counterproductive in your situation.

Sometimes it takes you 20 minutes to focus

Many people need around 20 minutes to achieve maximum focus and productivity.

You know the feeling when you wake up with the intention to be more productive than ever. Your day is carefully scheduled, the freshly updated productivity apps in your phone are ready to give your work an epic boost, and you’re about to SMASH your #productivitygoals.

Six hours later, you suddenly realize that most of your to-dos are still untouched.

At least this is what happened to me many, many times. Running a freelance business while parenting a toddler felt so overwhelming that on some days, all I could do was lie down and weep into a pillow because I…

Olga Ber

Freelance writer, coffee addict, reformed procrastinator.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store