Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. The primary reason for my blogging absence is because I needed all of my energy to edit my horror flash fiction collection (I’m no longer going to publish this collection, but I’ll explain why in a future post). But I’m back, and today I want to talk to you about the productivity experiment I did recently.
What is the productivity experiment? Well, I tried working in sprints. If you’re a writer, you may have heard about writing sprints. But for those who haven’t (or aren’t a writer), writing sprints are when you write for a set amount of time (often 20 or 25 minutes, but length can vary), then have a five-minute break between each sprint.
Before I became ill, I could sit for one hour and write 2,000 words. But I’m no longer able to stay focused for that length of time and reach that word count. Instead, I can just about write 500 words in an hour. This reduced my word count, which meant it took me longer to finish the first draft.
At first, I was considering trying to accept the slower me, but then I discovered writing sprints and learned that I could increase the number of words. So, now with three 20-minute writing sprints, I can write 1,500 to 1,800 words, which isn’t 2,000, but a lot better than 500.
So I started writing in sprints and returned to writing my first draft quicker. However, I was still struggling to move forward with my editing, blogging and author business planning—trying to concentrate for an hour was difficult and resulted in me spending most of the time daydreaming or scrolling on the internet. I needed to boost my productivity, and that’s when the idea hit me: I should try working in sprints.
I planned to do the experiment for one week. The rules were to do all my author business work in 20-minute sprints with a five-minute break in-between.
Did it help? Yes, it did. I did between five and nine sprints a day. It was a challenge at first to get into the sprinting mode when I was editing or working on my business plan, but once I became used to it, I discovered I was finally completing tasks—it felt great to tick (or rub off) tasks that I had completed.
Even though working in sprints helped to boost my productivity, it didn’t help with everything—working this way was annoying when I was sorting out my website. The break felt unnecessary, so I’ll probably not work in sprints when completing these kinds of tasks. Also, the 20-minute sprints weren’t long enough for non-writing tasks, so in the future, I will increase the time to 25 minutes.
So there you have it, my working in sprints experiment. I’m going to continue working this way, especially when editing. Also, I recommend this experiment to anyone struggling to focus or be productive.
Have you tried working in sprints? Let me know in the comments below.
Stay safe and keep writing, folks!
You can also join my Facebook groups: Setting Self-Doubt on Fire Squad, which is for writers; and The Nicole J. Simms Squad, which is for readers who enjoy my stories and want a sneak peek into what I’m working on before anyone else.
Also, I’ve also created a Nicole J Simms YouTube channel. On my channel, I will be sharing videos of my performances, trips, writing group adventures and my stories.