Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Time Management Tuesday: What Kinds Of Work Are Best For Sprints?

I've written here a number of times about sprinting. Perhaps you've read about my plans for sprinting. Or my speculation as to whether or not sprinting would get me through Thanksgiving, 2013. You may remember that creating a morning sprint habit wrecked my morning office management habit, something that I never recovered from, by the way. And, quite honestly, the whole sprinting thing had pretty much disappeared from my radar recently, possibly because of that lengthy vacation I took in September. But, then, there was last month's excitement over ten-minute sprints on the hour!

Well, I used that ten-minute on the hour thing during the lead-up to Thanksgiving with some good results. Last month I was on a submission binge. During those pre-Thanksgiving days I had my laptop on the kitchen counter and while I was by myself prepping for the Big Day I would stop every hour (at least several times a day, anyway) and do a ten-minute market search. I found two journals appropriate for submissions and submitted manuscripts to them.

This was a revelation, of which I have so many.

In the past, I thought the best part of sprinting on days when writers can't maintain a normal schedule is to allow them to work just enough so they can stay in their projects. Then it won't take them as long to get up to speed again when they can get back to work. That probably is the best part of sprinting. But in the chaos of family and day jobs, getting into a real work project for even just twenty minutes (the traditional sprint time) can be way too much, in my experience, at least.

But what about using some ten-minute sprints for some of the many other tasks writers need time for?
  • Market research
  • Submissions
  • Getting started on blog posts
  • Twitter work--those welcomes to new followers and thank yous for retweets and favorites, following new people yourself. There's masses of Twitter work
All these chores suck up time we could be using for work. If we can find a way to knock some of them off during periods when we can't do traditional writing, that should free up our traditional writing time for writing.

Well, shouldn't it?

We will see.

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