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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Power of the Chain

As of today, I have maintained a continuous chain of working on a project for 5 consecutive days. That might seem short, but I am already feeling the power of it. I proctored the PhD exam yesterday, so I had to sit there and write for three straight hours in a room with no internet connection. I added over a 1,000 words to this project and generated many new ideas. That might not had happened if I hadn't written the three days prior to that.

If you break your chain, simply begin again. Imagine that you wrote consecutively for 10 days, then 5 more, then 20, then 3, with one-day breaks in between. You will have written for 38 days with only three days of not being productive. Compare that with the normal pattern of maybe writing two or three times a week.

The beauty of it is that you don't have to worry if any particular chain is short, 3 or 4 days. Even that is better than the guy who finds time only once a week to nurture his project. Even if your average length chains is 3 days, you will be fine. Just remember that there are people like me out there, people who not only have the intellectual capability to publish scholarship of high quality, but who also can work over a hundred days straight on a major project.

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

I was tempted to break my Seinfeld chain yesterday (for no reason but laziness), and then I read this sentence: " Just remember that there are people like me out there, people who not only have the intellectual capability to publish scholarship of high quality, but who also can work over a hundred days straight on a major project."

And it REALLY motivated me. I went and worked for two hours in an incredible burst of energy.

You are a very talented motivator, Jonathan.