That’s it. 100 words. In the grand scheme of my life, that is about 2 to 5 minutes of my time. I waste plenty more than that in the course of a day. Everything from playing games on my phone to blindly surfing the internet. I waste a ton of time.
So yesterday I made a deal with myself: whenever I would go to sit in front of a computer, for any reason, I have to write 100 words of fiction BEFORE doing anything else. It worked. I still wasted plenty of time with nonsense, but over 700 words ended up in Gravity book 4 before I went to bed. And all of it without having to delay going to bed just to get a word count goal.
Once or twice I didn’t abide by the rule, being as it is new, but I still got over 700 words for all of the times I did follow it.
This all came from me trying to work around, or hack, my habits. I know that I usually waste a ton of valuable time not writing. This was a way to give permission to slack. No holds barred. Want to waste time blindly scrolling through social media? Go for it!… AFTER 100 words. And that is any time I step up from the computer and walk out of the room.
Strangely too, despite this, I did get anxious a few times. A couple of times I really needed to do something on the computer other than screw around and having that rule staring me in the face was not welcoming. Funny enough though, no more than 5 minutes passed and I was in the clear.
Now I don’t know how long that this is going to work. Eventually, even today, I might find myself forgetting to do it. The point in all of this though is finding ways to maximize efficiency without making it a chore. It’s about changing things, but in ways we can all handle. Not having a word goal beyond 100 words in a shot is easier than some of the loftier goals I made in the past. If I am on the computer only 1 time for the day, it’s only 100 or so words that I will achieve. If I am not on the computer at all: 0. And I am fine with that. I have to be. It’s about just getting a little better and making progress without feeling like I am interrupting something else (or feeling guilty because I waste time on something else).
Eventually, the habit will take and instead of 100 words, I might write 500, 1000, or 5000 words before I turn away. But the minimum will always be 100. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll be the kick I needed.