I bet you didn’t notice, but last week, I did something unusual.
I had just received my copy of Sage Cohen’s new book – The Productive Writer (excellent, BTW) and by the time I had read Chapter 4, the idea was forming in my head. M’s unusual 2 hour nap helped; I read and read and read some more. It was getting all too exciting so I stopped reading and bravely declared my plan to the world on Facebook.
In an experiment to be more productive, I will be mostly offline from 1-6 February. That means no FB, Twitter or Linkedin (at all), no blogging, no random surfing, no endless ‘researching’. Just email twice a day.
Day one was good. I had a few FB cravings, mostly wanting to post some earth-shattering links that I found. I made a note of these in my little pink notebook to post later so I wouldn’t forget. Friend requests on Linkedin and FB would have to wait till the 6th to be answered, as would any other posts. I didn’t miss scrolling through friend status-updates, neither did any of my friends seem to miss mine 😦
By day three, I couldn’t be bothered about FB anymore. I hopped on to the site just once and that was to reply to a query that couldn’t wait until the 6th and I didn’t have an email address for the sender. So quick reply and I was out of there before you could say ‘Zuckerberg’.
Was I more productive? Did staying mostly offline make any difference at all? Well, I think I feel a lot better – physically – for not spending every free second browsing through design blogs and Pinterest. All those perfect spaces were stressing me out a little. Oh the pressure to have a home like that! Forget about the professionally styled photographs for mag shoots, even everyday bloggers have such fantastic homes these days. I’m not going to get there in a hurry, so stepping back a little was useful.
I also got a lot of queries and LOIs sent out. Got one bite so far, but it’s only been a short while which really doesn’t count for anything in the querying scheme of things.
I found it hard to avoid Google Reader, though. I rapidly surfed through my top 10 favourite blogs and read only posts that had headlines that I had to know more about (what does that tell you about SEO, huh?).
The best part of this experiment, though, was the time and quality of time I spent with little M. Not having the pressure to run back to my laptop to see if that last image downloaded or if one of the editors on my dream list had responded, I loafed with M unabashedly. We sang songs on the veranda (The chorus of ‘Ocean Queen’ by Remo is a current favourite), gave each other lots of kisses, played footballs with six different kinds of balls and yes, we even did a whole lot of gardening.
It has been an eventful week, in many ways than this. Mr. R’s mum had a fall in the market on Friday and fractured her femur. At her age, this is not good news. She had a hip replacement on the 5th and is now back home relearning how to walk with a walker. The good news is that she is improving rapidly and we hope she will be good as new soon.
Sage Cohen’s book had an interesting schedule for social networking that I’m going to put to use right away. I’m going to limit my time online (especially for social networking sites, blogs and other ‘research’) and see where that takes me. I feel more productive already, though I don’t have a lot of work to show for it at the moment.
But at least my bed is made, the dressing table isn’t buried under clothes and no plants have died on my watch this week.
What is preventing you from being productive today?