This week’s post is a simple yet effective strategy that I have found extremely beneficial for getting my edits out the door. The last couple of weeks have been a tough road, and there’s nothing I hate worse than doing lots of hard work with no fun involved.
At the end of my first week I really wanted to throw in the towel, walk away, and do something fun like; watch a movie, play a game, have a glass of wine, read. Anything to get away from the task at hand!
The first week went really well, but coming into the second week when the task was taking longer than I expected, I could feel myself starting to flag.
Create stepping stones to support yourself on the way to your goal.
A Simple Strategy
Keeping momentum up for a week when I was really cranking was relatively easy, but the second week I began to slow right down. This simple strategy really helped me out, and I think it’s an important one to talk about, for those of us who are struggling to get to the finish line.
Delayed Gratification Goals
What I discovered, that worked well for me, over the last couple of weeks was delayed gratification; also known as—rewarding yourself for working your butt off, not now, but later. I started working in two or three hour chunks, and put a nice reward in place that I got to indulge in after I put my time in.
It didn’t have to be expensive or elaborate:
- Like a new book on my kindle.
- A new app for my phone.
- A delicious desert.
- A craft item that I’ve been after for a while.
- At the end of the night, a glass of wine to enjoy—don’t do this one in the morning, or it’ll really mess your day up!
Whatever floats your boat!
The Carrot and the Stick Method
My new reward system worked great when I stared implementing it halfway through my mountainous journey. It gave me a new lease of life and made me excited about getting to my reward.
The reward only had to meet two criteria:
1) It was cheap and easy to make happen.
2) That I really really wanted it.
I also find having a bigger final goal reward in place for when you complete the entire piece, like going out to dinner, is a nice incentive, too.
Grand Finale Goal
Having a grand finale goal is always a great idea for when you complete a large project.
Like smoking a cigar and downing a bottle of champagne! All joking aside; I have heard of writers that celebrate when they complete a novel, by doing something unique that they always do when they reach their goal.
The Finish Line
I am proud to announce that I am finished, at least with this part of the journey. So time to smoke my cigar and have some R&R, before the next leg of the journey begins. Who knows what surprises lie ahead!
What are your thoughts?
I’d love to know what you think! What strategies have you used to get yourself to complete tasks? What do you do to hold yourself accountable? Or have you found yourself walking away because the task at hand was too difficult? What is your special way to celebrate when you achieve your goals?
Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!
Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an excellent writing resource: A Copy of Story Trumps Structure by Steven James
How do you stay on track?
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