La Belette Rouge offers particularly precious advice to writers, which really can be applied to any project.
I used to be the mother of all procrastinators. I did not know how to get anything done unless my boss was breathing down my neck. Then I began working at home and I was absolutely lost. It took many, many year of agonizing, of guilt, of wasted time and getting little accomplished. Procrastination is a foul smelling beast and, if you ask me, the root of all evil. I'm happy to report that I finally tamed that beast after tackling it to the floor and kicking it violently in the groin.
Here is how I get my work done. Just like Belette, my present boss (he's a real asshole too) is a simple kitchen timer. Day after day it's just him (it?), me, my desk my computer and my chair six hours a day. Together we can get a lot done.
At the moment I am working on 5 projects. I start at 9 (i exercise or carpool before that) I set my
boss timer. 55 minutes per project. 15 minutes break. I usually don't work longer than 55 minutes on projects. 55 minutes is all the juice i have for any given topic. I have found that after 55 minutes i flounder and waste time. Also after 55 minutes I need to pee in the worst way and check my comments and e-mail which are my personal crack.
I have a soundtrack of music for each project. That's a fantastic way to trick the brain. There is a pavlovian effect to hearing the music, it puts me right back in the space I was in when I left off. (I even have a soundtrack to get me psyched for paying my bills: anything from Madonna--don't ask.)
I don't believe in writers block one bit. I open the file and begin by reading my last 200 words, compulsion forces me to correct what I read, and this somehow triggers the desire to write and the inspiration.
After 3 pm I take care of the boys, I clean, i cook, I shop, I garden and enjoy life the best i can.
I reward myself. Once or twice a month I play hookey. I give myself a day of wandering, day dreaming. I go to the movies all by myself. I shop. I meet a friend. I binge on blogs.
On the week-end I write my blog posts but I don't work on my projects.
Those tricks I learned little by little. I didn't use to know I needed a plan, or that I needed to get organized. The key for me is to work some on everything every day. I wish there had been someone who offered great advice like the one La Belette Rouge is giving us, so I didn't have to reinvent the wheel, so I thought I'd share mine.
What are your tricks?