In the past the one goal that had helped me be the most productive on a daily basis was club 100, when you promise to write at least 100 words a day for 100 days in a row, but I didn't think that this approach would work for revisions. I thought about why club 100 was so productive for me. It doesn't take too long to write 100 words, so it was never too intimidating. I could always tell myself I could find the time to write 100 words in any given day. Often by the time I reached the hundredth word, I was back into my story and writing away with no intention of stopping for another hour or two or even longer.
How could I recreate this in revisions? I decided that I would set a goal of working on my revisions at least 10 minutes a day until the WRW retreat in April. Hopefully, this would mean I would have or be very close to a polished, full draft by April 16.
I'm not sure what it is, but there is some kind of magic in reaching the ten-minute mark. It suddenly feels so much easier. I know that if I do stick to my promise of working at least ten minutes a day on revisions, I will work much longer than that on most days. I'll be so much more productive for it.
The exact same thing is true in exercise. The first ten minutes on the elliptical, the treadmill, or in a class are often the toughest. Whenever I'm struggling with it and want to walk away from my cardio for the day, I tell myself I can't even consider it until I reach the ten-minute mark. I may hate every second leading up to 10 minutes, but I can't think of one time when I've ever walked away from my exercise early after passing that minute. It's suddenly not as hard to keep going, and I know I can finish it.
Have you ever experienced something like this? Are there other short-term goals that are just as helpful for you? If you've never tried the ten-minute rule, you may want to give it a shot. It really works for me.