I've written about sprinting a couple of times here. Then in the mad rush of life, it sort of drifted out of my consciousness as a regular time management technique.
This weekend, however, I was nursing a mild cold I wanted to get rid of (and pretty much have) and noticed that the 10-Minute Novelists Facebook community I belong to was doing a Saturday sprint event. This was to help NaNoWriMo participants punch up their word counts. Their plan was to sprint at the top of each hour and then do what they had to do on a Saturday until the top of the next one. Then they'd sprint again.
I was lolling around on a couch next to a wood stove with my laptop, anyway, so though I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, I decided to go with it. It was ten minutes before one when I heard about this, so I didn't have a lot of time to prep my mind. So I went to work on blog posts. By the end of the weekend, I had done one for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Now, in hindsight, I believe the other members of the group were doing twenty minute sprints. I only did ten minutes each hour because, well, I was sick and this was a 10-Minute Novelist group. Nonetheless, over the weekend I finished yesterday's somewhat lengthy blog post, which is terrific because I'm killing most of my evenings on blog posts. I'd like to be doing some reading then.
Today (Monday) I had to be away for a chunk of time on family business. I worked in a bit better than ten-minute sprint on this post for Tuesday before I left this morning, and I'm back for another ten minutes (and more, as it turned out) this afternoon.
Now, I wouldn't like to work like this all the time. Of course, I can get a lot more done in forty-five-minute units than in ten or twenty. Twenty- or even ten-minute sprints are a situational time management technique for those days when you're going to be hard put to find forty-five minutes because your work and personal life are out of balance and your personal time is bleeding into your work time. For those people who want to write every day, to encourage their creativity and keep their minds in their projects, as well as make progress on them, sprinting could make it possible.
I'm going to try to pay more attention to sprinting in the weeks ahead, both on Saturdays and Sundays and those weekdays when my personal life is overwhelming my work life. (Next week, for instance, which includes Thanksgiving prep, Thanksgiving, and some overnight guests.) For the immediate future, I'm going to focus on getting ahead on blog posts, trying to free up some evening time for other things. That would be nice. Creating some kind of sprinting work habits would be nice, too.
As usual, at some point I'll let you know how I do with that.