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Oi! No slacking!

May 10th, 2010 Matt Leave a comment Go to comments
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It seems that there is a definite downside to the tracking method I use. While it can be very encouraging, I personally have a tendency to relax and shirk off if I’ve done well.

Such has been the problem for the last couple of weeks. I recently smashed my records for the most words written in a month and in a week. Woohoo! Unfortunately, rather than spur me on to even greater things, this has had the opposite effect. Something went click in my brain and suddenly I felt like I’d earned a break.

Well, no actually Matt, you didn’t.

This break was not a conscious decision. It was more like an attitude that seeped in. Of course, I should have confronted this head on when I felt this insidious seepage, but alas, I just carried on doing trickles of writing and feeling guilty. The result is that not a lot of writing gets done, and there is now a general lack of motivation. Bad! Bad! Bad! Two steps forward, one step back (at least).

So, what should I have done? I’ve prepared a short list that I think will help me in future:

  • Set out your next goals. Let’s keep that motivation going. You (and I, too. Everybody!) should take a look at the stats and decide what you should be chasing next. What’s the next goal? Play about with it. If this goal is achieved, what does that mean, and what else might be achieved? These are the motivating questions that ensured the last milestone was reached, so they should not be ignored now.
  • And if you must take it easy… Then decide to take it easy! Don’t leave it to chance, don’t lose control. Set the boundaries. Are you going to do nothing for a set amount of days, or have a smaller wordcount target this week? What are the exact numbers? Stick to it! And now that you’ve decided on the conditions of your rest, don’t forget to set some goals for afterwards so you’re not left languishing!
  • Pay attention! Are you having an unscheduled break? Is your wordcount dipping below acceptable levels? Feeling demotivated? Don’t ignore it! Confront it! Set some new goals or schedule a break, but again, make the decision!

Hopefully I’ll be able to practice what I preach! Motivation is pretty much everything when you’re working on something alone, so it’s important to be aware and to take control! Now let’s get to it!

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