When I first started internet marketing and blogging, writing came very easy for me, and I actually looked forward to write my next blog posts and content for my sites. After the fun and momentum of starting a new online venture wore off, the writing got harder, took longer, and I even started to experience writer’s block quite often.
I heard this cliche many times before from the so called experts, “if you’re writing about you’re passions, then you’ll always enjoy writing about it”. Well, it went something like that.
But later I found out they really didn’t know what they were talking about. I had done some research and learned that many, if not all the top writers in the world, experience writer’s block and need a little push now and then, too.
Got an Old Kitchen Timer?
I finally found a system, a technique, that started to work for me. Basically all you need to do is start using a timer and create a schedule for your writing. Not only will you become more efficient with your writing, but it will also help boost your productivity, greatly.
You’ll have to set your own time limits and schedule, but here’s the one I created for myself.
I write for a total of 4 hours a day, six days a week. That is the only time I can write, and that time is just for writing. I have a big timer right next to me and I set it for an hour, then I take a 15 minute break once it goes off. I do this 4 times per day.
This system helps me to not get burnt out from writing for long periods of time and helps me with my time management. Before I would force myself to write so much per day, no matter how long it would take me, even if it meant not getting to the other things I had planned for the day. With that kind of pressure, it lowered my quality and made writing a chore that I started to dread on a daily basis. Plus it was really starting to kill my productivity.
Mentally, I found having a timer in plain sight, helps me to challenge my writing skills and to become faster and better. Also, working in short bursts, helps keep me more focused and be more productive.
Does this type of writing technique work?
Well, it definitely works for me, but I actually got the idea from watching the “Top Super Geniuses” that work at places like Google and Facebook. Ever seen their software engineers (hackers) creating code? A lot of times they will have a timer right next to them and are only given a short amount of time to create something. This helps to push themselves and produces the best work possible in a set amount of time.
Here are some more variants of this same type of technique, below.
The Writer’s 3 Hour Work Day
One day I was reading this post on the Schwartz Copywriting System. It pretty much is a system that one of the top copywriters, Eugene Schwartz, created for himself to consistently produce brilliant content in only 3 hours a day. He never had writer’s block or faced self-doubt in front of his content.
His system pretty much worked the same as what I described above.
He set a kitchen timer for 33.33 minutes, and then would take a small break. He did this six times a day for five days per week. Which worked out to be a little over 3 hours of writing per day.
However, he would of course do extensive research on whatever he was writing about before actually sitting down to start writing.
And, he had setup a little list of rules that he had to follow once the timer was set and ticking.
For instance; he couldn’t get out of the chair for any reason or do anything else while in the chair.
He could however drink coffee, stare at the walls or window, or use the time for actually writing his content.
Since all the other options were pretty boring and unproductive, he usually always would use the time to write.
He eventually wrote nine books, a ton of successful ads and countless articles. He is still to this day, one of the most successful and top copy writer’s of all time.
The Pomodoro Technique
Here’s a complete site that basically has turned this into a lifestyle. The Pomodoro Technique was created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s and now is practiced by many people around the world.
Basically they don’t only use a timer for writing, but use this same exact kind of system for any type of task or project at hand. Which isn’t a bad idea at all.
The Pomodoro Technique has you setting a timer for only 25 minutes and working on your task, then taking a small break once the timer rings.
As you can see, there are many different variations of this technique using a timer, out there.
Whatever you choose to do, creating a set schedule for your writing and using a timer is the best way to increase writing productivity and efficiency. It really does help you get the most out of time management and push yourself to do the best.
Have any other tips, techniques, tricks that help, when you write?