Last weekend, my wife found an old contract I had made with her almost 25 years ago. It was signed August 1994. And in it, I committed to writing one page a day. That was back when I was writing fiction and short stories. I chuckled when I saw it. My contract with Deb was to show her my written page every day. Sometimes it was at the end of the day or if she was asleep when I finished it, I’d show her the next morning. I got good at producing a page of writing consistently.
That same weekend, I came across a blog post that mentioned you are 95% more likely to do something when you make yourself accountable to someone and have a specific appointment to follow up. Ninety-five per cent!!
Just recently, I finished up with Matthew Kimberley’s MALT (More Action Less Talk). Basically, you’d email him what you were going to do during the week and at the end of the next week, you’d update him with what you actually did and what your plans were for the upcoming week. (Unfortunately, he’s not offering that program anymore, but if you want to check his other offerings, you can visit him at https://matthewkimberley.com.) There’s no doubt that I was more productive during that time than I would have been.
I definitely get more things done when I know someone is expecting something from me. Deadlines work well, too.
But it is the consistent work that often produces gold when you aren’t expecting it. So, I might have to dust off that contract and get Deb to be my “writing ogre” once more. Until I make sure my writing is back to a consistent level of productivity.