Monday, 29 February 2016

Productivity Leap

By pure coincidence (actually, a lot of hard work from the Universe went into arranging this), today’s blog posting happens to fall on February 29th - Leap Day. Let’s leap for joy. Why? Because we’ve been given an extra 24 hours. So let’s do something different with them.

As I point out in my Productivity Leap article, from my Business of Writing column in Writing Magazine, we should treat February 29th as bonus time. It doesn’t matter whether you write full time, or in your spare time, we’ve all been given another 24 hours this year. Even if your writing time is restricted to an hour in the evening, you’ve still been granted an extra hour of writing time this year. (After all, those people who are paid an annual salary are paid the same whether there are 365 or 366 days in the year. They’ve not gained anything extra from today - although their employers might have! But as writers, we’ve been given this extra opportunity to do more writing.)

So do something different with today’s time. Make today’s efforts stand out. Today is special, so today’s activities should be special. You could:

  • Start a new writing project. Write a short story. Or a new article. Or pick a competition to enter. Then, when your piece is published (or if you win the competition) you’ll have something tangible to show for your bonus writing time.
  • Do some planning. I’m not a detailed planner, but I do make plans. So why not sit down and use today’s writing time to plan what you’d like to write in March? Set yourself some specific goals. Use today to plan your future writing career.
  • If you’re working on a big project (novel, or non-fiction book) and you want to continue working on that (which is a good idea) why not go somewhere else today to write? Experiment. Go and work from your local library. Or do a JK Rowling, and take yourself off to a local cafe and write there. Whatever your experiment is, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter. At least you tried. With 59 days of 2016 already gone, you still have another 306 writing days until the end of the year - so that’s still 365 days of writing this year - the same as the previous three years.

Whatever you do, don’t take today off. Write something. Because if you think of today as an opportunity for a holiday from writing then 1st March will be a very difficult day, getting back into the swing of things.

Happy Leap Day.


Good luck.

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