Friday, March 3, 2017

How Brian Niemeier Taught Me to Be More Productive

So Brian Niemeier wrote a blog post last week on being more productive. In it, he cited Scott Adams’ maxim "Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners." So this week, with my short respite from Twitter, I decided to follow his advice.

The text editor software I use for writing is a program called Focus Writer, which has a number of features to help one concentrate on typing words onto a blank document. One of these features is a Daily Goal keeper that I had been trying to meet for several months now and failing to do so most days, if I even got writing done at all. So I turned that feature off and stopped focusing on the number of words I wrote every day, as per Brian’s suggestion.

I know I said on Twitter that I was going full hermit for three days to finish an editing project, though on day two inspiration for another QuQu video script struck, and I just had to write it down before I forgot. By this point, I realized that my editing project was going to take longer than three days, so put that on hold to finish work on the script. And in those last two days, I was able to crank out a script that was almost five thousand words long. For contrast, the last script I wrote before then took much longer, even though it was only around three thousand words for the initial draft.

One of the things that Scott Adams talked about on his Whenhub blog is about scheduling your energy, not your time. In it, he talks about how people have different types of energy throughout the day, and how it’s best to schedule one’s activities around when their different states of energy are their peak. So I focused on getting my writing done early on the morning, not long after I first wake up.

I think that one thing that helped the most with this is logging out of Twitter during the time when I'm supposed to be working. This meant that visiting the site would require taking multiple steps, which kept it from being as much of a distraction. Now that I’m back, I will likely hold off from posting on the site until late in the evening, after I run out of creative energy and my social energy kicks in.

So I really do have to thank Brian Niemeier and Scott Adams as well for their advice. Go follow both of them on social media, and maybe buy some of their books if you’ve got the money to spare. Oh, and I also have to thank Templar Gamer for convincing me that I really needed a break from human interaction over the internet.

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