Trying something new, and crushing word count goals

For the past few days, I’ve approached my writing routine differently and tried something I’ve never done before. Normally, I sit down with the intention to work on a particular story, sometimes on a particular section, sometimes with a loose word count goal, and that’s it. The results of this approach always vary. Sometimes I just re-read things, and do minimal tinkering, which often is not the best use of my time. Sometimes the words spew out, but this is a rarer occurrence. What happens most often is something in between, and I get down a meager amount of words.

timerNow, here’s what I’ve been doing recently, and have seen a jump in productivity: short, concentrated bursts! I set the timer on my phone to 15-20 minutes and I start writing. It’s not frantic, there’s no word count goal, there’s not really any goal except to write. Instead of sitting and thinking too much, I tell myself that I need to make my time count. Once the timer goes off, I finish my thought, and I put the work aside for at least ten minutes. Even if I still feel like I could go on, I stop. I move to another WIP and do a burst on that, or take a break to do something completely different. There are similar methods for productivity in general, like the Pomodoro Technique, that helped inspire me to try it out. Doing these short bursts helps me from getting fatigued, causing my mind to wander, so I’m focused on the one task in front of me.

Using this method has already helped me bust through the goals I had set for myself this week. I don’t know if it will continue to work as easily, but shaking things up is always refreshing, and helps you approach things differently. Right now, these short sessions have been working for me, and I can see them being just as productive in the future. Have you tried a similar approach? What is your routine like now?