Im trying to beat procrastination and have read a lot about the usefulness of a kitchen timer on your desk to time small bursts of work. I walked with a spring in my step to a local hardware store and bought the brightest one I could find, thinking this would stop me gazing adoringly at my dog, making copious cups of tea and generally putting off getting down to work. This is the view from my desk:
I usually find that I spend at least an hour a day checking emails, a couple of hours (or five) on social media, an hour on other things that don’t involve adding to my manuscript. This does not follow the 80/20 rule of using 80% of your time doing the most important tasks. Before I know it, it’s time to do the school run and I haven’t achieved much. After buying my little kitchen timer, all that has changed. One of the articles I read about time management suggested working in 30 minute time slots. I set the timer for 30 minutes, write as much as I can, then stop and walk around or talk to the dog! Ten minutes later, I’m back to start the whole process again.
I haven’t yet managed to completely drop my habit of finding the smallest thing a distraction, but last week I wrote 10,000 words using the timer! It is now my very good friend and I wondered what other writers use to stay focussed, or if it’s just me who becomes entranced by a cute puppy smile and drinks far too much tea?
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