A Guest Post by Amelia Ramstead blogs about writing.
I’m fairly new to this whole writing thing. I’ve learned a lot, and encountered a number of problems I hadn’t anticipated. I detailed one of these in a recent blog post, The Productivity Game. Turns out I’m not exactly the only one to be stymied by too much to do and plenty of time in which to do it.
I suppose most people wouldn’t complain about that problem, and there are certainly worse ones to have. But it can make getting any actual work done pretty challenging, and that will keep you from making money with your writing.
A number of possible solutions for the problem were suggested:
- Make a list, give everything a numerical value based on priority, and do the jobs in that order.
- Rate your jobs based on how fun they are. Do the less enjoyable ones first then reward yourself with the fun ones.
- Rate your jobs based on how fun they are. Do the more enjoyable ones first, so you are all warmed up for the less fun ones.
These are certainly great suggestions and will work just fine. But they’re just so darn logical! I tend to be inspired by the unusual, the unexpected, and the serendipitous (maybe that’s why I became a freelance writer!). I want a dash of spice in my day!
So I got to thinking. I titled my post “The Productivity Game” – what if I turned it into an actual game? So without any further ado, I now present my rules for playing (subject to change whenever the heck I feel like it, of course).
- List all the different projects that need some love today. Note—Items with a deadline closing in are exempt and should be done first!
- Number each item on the list.
- Choose a favorite random decision making tool. If you are a geek like me, you might have a set of dice lying about that go higher than six. You could use a random number generator app on your phone. If all else fails, go with “einie-meinie-mynie-mo.”
- You should now have a project. If you still find yourself looking for ways to avoid work, set a timer for twenty minutes and commit to working solidly for that time. I find that by the time the bell rings, I’m happily involved in my work and I’m barely aware of turning off the timer and finishing whatever I’m working on. If it’s a longer project, like an e-book, you can either reset the timer (if you’re in the groove) or take a little break.
- Reward yourself. I’m not above a little bribery, even to myself. A quick snack, some good snuggle time with my daughter, a quick trip over to Facebook… these are all great rewards for me.
Hopefully my little game will resonate with you, or you’ll devise one of your own liking. Sometimes the element of surprise is just what you need to create a jolt of inspiration!
Freelance writer and editor Amelia Ramstead blogs about writing at ameliaramstead.blogspot.com and about family money management at payingourway.blogspot.com. When she’s not playing with her two kids (three if you count her husband), she enjoys slaying computer-generated dragons. For more information, please visit ameeramstead.com.
How do you help yourself be more productive?