I’ve been listening to the Odyssey Podcasts #85 and #86 on productivity. While the clips were pretty short, there was some quite good, useful info in there that I think will help me try to get back into getting a good writing routine going.
- If writing is #8 on your priority list, it’s not going to get done.
- Trade time with friends and family, to get blocks of time you can use for writing.
- You really do need a block of time from 1-3 hours. This may mean getting up at 5am.
- Habits and rituals are important. Set these up to hack your brain into enjoying and anticipating these. Start with a small habit, like 100 words. It has to be something that you will succeed at, every time.
There was quite a bit of other good information there, so if you’ve got a spare 30 minutes or so, I recommend you hop over and have a listen. I’m thinking I need to do something like:
- trigger: light a candle
- habit: write 100 words
- reward: something nerdy I enjoy doing. A guilty pleasure.
I know chocolate is a good reward, but I’m trying not to go there these days. Instead, something like sharpening pencils in my new electric sharpener (seriously, I love it. Plus: the smell!), or giving myself a star sticker, or even the enjoyment of putting in my loose-leaf paper into the Trapper Keeper I’ve found and started using again.
Seriously, my old Trapper Keeper! OMG. I get a really weird pleasure out of using all my old school stationery. Let’s not visit the fact that my parents have been storing this stuff in a box in the garage all these years.
The velcro doesn’t really work, but who cares. I just use it to carry paper upstairs and downstairs. I write in pencil the way I did when I was a kid. Maybe I should draw some maps too, while I’m at it.
Plus: the paper. You can’t even get paper with three holes punched in them in New Zealand. Everything is two-hole, which is perfectly ridiculous, as the two holes make things swing around too much, and tear. I’ve also got a thing for that red line that runs down the margin – again something not all NZ two-whole filler paper (“refill” here) has.
I’m not going to question it. I am so unfussy about most things that I figure I can be as obsessive-compulsive as I need to be when it comes to stationery. I *am* rather intrigued by the new Trapper Keepers being sold on Amazon at the moment, and if it turns out this weird way of working does it for me, I might fork out and get another one.
But, er, ahem, where was I? Oh yes, productivity. I think I need charts. Stars. Celebratory pencil sharpening. Something fancy after a significant milestone. A plan. And then, you know, some actual writing. Because writing about writing doesn’t actually count as writing.