Unorthodox Writing Tips 9: It’s about time.
As I’m sitting here typing this post, I’ve set a timer. I’ve been doing this recently when I need to accomplish a task and at the same time, I need to do some writing. I can’t be in two places at the same time, but I can still work on both at the same time. Here’s what I’ve been doing.
Today I need to take down the Christmas tree. I also wanted to put out another Unorthodox Writing Tips.I want to post my goals fr 2012 and a look back at 2011. Then after all that I need to get some actual writing done. Did I mention that I also need to take down the Christmas tree.
So how am I going to be able to get all this done in a single day? I set a timer. Every fifteen minute I switch tasks. I set the timer for fifteen minutes and I’m working on this blog post. When the timer goes off, I’ll set it again for fifteen minutes and work on disassembling the tree. And back and forth until the tree is down and clean up complete then I’ll spend time on just writing.
You may be thinking that this is an awkward way to write. You’re up and down, up and down. Well, yes. Yes I am. I’ll be up and down multiple times. But when I’m taking down the tree, I’m still writing. I’m thinking through what I want to put down next. Fifteen minutes of thinking about writing speeds up my output during those fifteen minutes when I’m actually writing. That, combined with having a timer keeping me on pace forces me to write and write faster during those fifteen minute episodes. I don’t check email, I don’t look at facebook or twitter. I don’t have time. I have a task to get done. If I’m going to include anything else, I’ll schedule fifteen minutes for it. I’ll take a break each hour and a half or two hours, but for the most part, it’s fifteen on, fifteen off.
There’s something about seeing a timer there, counting down that forces my brain into gear letting me know that time is tick tick ticking away and I need to get the words down before my time is up. As I said, combined with the fact that I’m also thinking about what I’m going to write during those fifteen minutes off helps me prepare to actually sit down and write the words. I find I have less time starting at the screen and trying to will the words to appear and more time sitting and actually writing.
Combined with the fact that I’m getting more than one thing done at a time, this method is really working for me. Not only that, but I’ve also discovered that fifteen minutes can result in roughly five hundred words when I’m pushing myself. I’ve changed my attitude from “I only have fifteen minutes” to “I HAVE A WHOLE FIFTEEN MINUTES!”
Give it a shot. Set a timer and time your self. Whoops, timer went off. Time to get back to that Christmas tree. It’s not going to take itself down.
Until Next Time!