I've already covered using to-do lists. In this final post I'll be writing about what O'Connor calls concentrated blocks of time. This is something I've called set-aside time.
Concentrated Blocks Of Time Can Be More Than An Hour Without Internet
O'Connor talks about shutting off unnecessary technology in order to concentrate. I'm talking about actually planning to use big chunks of time for a specific writing project or writing-related task.
- Think National Novel Writing Month
- Think the May Days Facebook Group I often take part in.
- Think the time frame Martha Alderson uses in Boundless Creativity
- Think traditional writers' retreats
- Think writers who teach who use school breaks as a set-aside time to get one particular project started or finished
Keep in mind you don't actually have to complete an entire project in one of these blocks. You decide what you're going to do with it. Will your block be for generating new work, just getting something started? Completing a draft? Working on scenes? Revising? The idea is to plan what you're going to do for a specific block of time and then concentrate on just that instead of running from task to task.
I've had good luck with setting aside blocks of time this year, using May Days and Alderson's time frame to get major work done on a blueprint/outline and using June to turn out some writing for that some project. Mid-July and the first half of August have been dedicated to flash writing as part of a six-week workshop I've been involved with on that subject. I'm going to stick with that and submitting flash for the rest of the month.
I want to plan the rest of the year so that I'm dedicating blocks of time--weeks or months--to working on a specific writing or research or submission project.
Blocks Of Time Slow You Down And Make You More Productive
Sometimes you have to juggle multiple projects--editing one thing while submitting another or marketing still something else. But finding blocks of time you can dedicate to just one thing slows you down, because you're not racing to work on multiple tasks. And that can increase productivity, because you can see some work getting done.