Sunday 21st June 2020
I have Scrivener open on one screen and Final Draft open on another.
I’m not sure this is the optimum way to work. Certainly, if I was to do any research on productivity it would probably say to focus on one and only one thing.
But I know how my brain works. And I know how to trick my brain.
I have this thing that – because this blog post is forcing me to define it – I call the Productivity Mobius Loop. It’s fueled by procrastination.
How it works is like this: I need two important tasks. They can’t be simple in execution. They have to be bum-in-seat, couple-of-hours-at-least tasks. The sort that would make me want to procrastinate.
They have to be unrelated, although by how much, I’m not sure. With today’s experiment they are the closest they’ve ever been. I suspect this is right at the edge of how far I can push it.
Ordinarily, it would be a writing task and some grind in World of Warcraft. Something I need to do but plagued by risk of boredom and / or procrastination.
I start on one. I make a little progress, and then when it gets difficult, my brain starts to want to procrastinate.
So I have the other task sat there ready as an easy escape. Instead of searching the internet for cat videos, I can just do the other thing.
And so that’s what I do, making a little progress until, again, I either get bored or hit a snag, and want to procrastinate. The first task is just sat there, again an easy escape, and so I swap back.
This carries on. A little progress and then I switch. This continues until I’ve used up my available time.
The end result: loads done. It’s probably not quite as effective as when I’m in the flow of things and things are coming easily on just one task… but when I’m in the mud, trying to figure stuff out, or at a particularly difficult bit, this chips away at two rock faces.
Today I had an outline for a novel that I’m in the guts of. There’s a lot of moving parts. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all so it needs breaking down bit by bit.
I also have a movie script. This is a new area for me so my impasse is really just fear. I just need to accept it’s going to be terrible and just do the best I can.
But I ended the day with a rough outline for the script, and really solidified the end of this novel.
Yes, I now have some quandaries on how events at the end of the novel came to be, and I probably need a bit more detail to the script outline.
But… progress. Maybe not as much as I would like, but knowing me and how my brain works with these kinds of problems, it’s a lot.
I have a lot to do in the next week, and whilst it’s largely self-imposed, I’d like to be quicker. I’d always like to be quicker. But I’ll take today’s win and build on it tomorrow.
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