No, this isn’t one of those pernicious messages in which I tell you to forward something to five of your closest friends Or Else, it’s a simple tip for productivity from Jerry Seinfeld. Yes, really.
I’m a big fan of simple – it matches my brain – but simple is often hard to hold onto. It gets obscured by the other, fancier-looking stuff or becomes meaningless with repetition.
I’ve been getting all business-minded and have planned the next six months of work. Amongst the lists, goals, timescales and spreadsheets there’s room for a little old-school encouragement and that’s where the chain enters stage left.
Buy a simple wall calendar (or print one off) and stick it somewhere prominent. You want to see this sucker everytime you sit down to work. When you’ve written, created something new from nothing but the thoughts in your head and the power to wield a pen or hit buttons on a keyboard, you put a big red cross through the day. Same again the next day and the next. You’ll have a lovely chain of red crosses and all you have to do is… Keep it going: Don’t Break The Chain.
Pretty soon you’ll be able to see at a glance how well you’re doing. The sad, empty non-productive gaps and the glorious, bold, inspiring chains of red. Imagine how much you could create if you keep that chain going for a week? A month? A *whispers* year?
Brilliant idea. Since Monday I’ve been setting a timer to make myself write for at least ten minutes (of fiction) a day. Today I did 20 minutes. And I’ve created a blog just to write about my writing progress (you should be linked to it by clicking on my name if you’re interested!). Which is how I wrote the first draft of another novel. The simple ones are the best.
Thanks, Helen. I need to remind myself to get ‘back to basics’ and stop stressing about the stuff I can’t control! I’m off to check out your blog, now. x
I always stress about the stuff I can’t control 😉
Don’t break the chain… good advice. http://www.muzu.tv/takingdawn/