Writing Cheat # 6 – Know exactly what you’re doing, and when.

Do you write haphazardly? I know some writers who “write” all day long. I know some business owners who “work” all day. They’ll claim to spend 16 hour days working or writing and are at their breaking point. They definitely give their blood, sweat, and tears to the craft.

If you’re that type of writer or worker, I want you to look hard at what you’re actually doing.

  • How often do you check your email?
  • How often do you visit news sites?
  • How much time do you spend on Facebook?
  • How often do you find yourself getting into debates on Internet forums?
  • Do you check celebrity gossip sites?
  • Do you find yourself getting up for a drink, to use the bathroom, to get a snack, to check on the cat dozens of times in your work day?
  • Do you find yourself at the end of a work day, wondering what in the world you did all day and why you don’t have more of your project done?

I’ll be the first to say that I work long days. But, my days are pretty tightly focused. I frequently check in on my forum members and my Facebook group members. You’ll rarely find me flittering my days away doing nothing. It takes dedication to get to this point and I won’t say it’s always easy– the Internet is an endlessly distracting place with any number of rabbit holes.

I want you to give yourself a maximum of 3 hours a day to work at your computer over the next three days. That’s it. You’re not allowed to be on your computer, for any reason, longer than three hours.

These 3 challenge hours will include the following activities:

  • Writing
  • Marketing your Kindle books
  • Checking email
  • Spending time checking news outlets, gossip, and funny cat pictures

Yes, you have big projects to complete. You have goals and deadlines.

You still have those goals and deadlines…but you now have much less time to work on them for three days.

Don’t worry– I’ll wager that you’ll get a lot more done than you usually do. There are two things at work here:

  • You naturally work better, faster, and more efficiently when you’re crunched for time. You don’t have 16 hours a day to work during this challenge, so your conscious and subconscious will find ways for you to work smarter.

You’ll neither have the time nor the inclination to check out time wasting sites. You only have 3 hours– those dancing cats aren’t that interesting. You also won’t feel the pull to do something fun while you work so hard because

  • you won’t feel like you’re missing out. You have 21 hours to do whatever else you’d like to do (assuming you don’t have an outside job– even then, your “free” hours truly become your own). Read a book, go for a walk, or watch tons of trashy TV if you want. The rest of the day belongs to you.

Do a self-evaluation after the experiment. Did you get more done than normal? You probably did– working a fraction of the time. Adjust your work day from there and think about what you have to do and what you really want to do. Those low-value time wasting websites are sucking away your productivity and time away from activities you really want to do.

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