Do Productivity Systems Actually Help You Write?

Just recently, I wrote a joke post about Writing as the Anti-GTD. For those of you not in the know, GTD is a productivity system (Getting Things Done). It was created by a fellow named David Allen and there are about a million websites out there with people talking about GTD and how to GTD. Do they do anything except talk about GTD? Well, I don’t want to be crass because I know several people who are doing the GTD thing on paper and it really does work for them.

The 7 Energy Sinkholes (and How to Avoid Them) –

Energy sinkholes are situations that repeatedly drain your energy and stress you out. There are plenty of good reasons to invest your energy, so don’t waste your attention on a sinkhole. Unfortunately, it is often hard to see sinkholes since they rarely cause a drain all at once. Instead they slowly leech away at your lifeforce until your stressed, depressed and apathetic.

I really identified with the sinkhole theory. Seems like I’m always losing a house to a sinkhole of one sort or another. Most are about 40,000 words in length… 🙂

The best way to get out of these sinkholes is to get a routine. Having a preplanned method to handle these problems can keep your mind focused on more important things.

Routine works, I can certainly vouch for that. I write every single day and that point is literally the high point of the day. Nothing makes me happier. Even though I joke about procrastination, I really do get quite a lot of writing done. It just isn’t very well organized.

Of the 7 sinkholes on the list, I’d say writers tend to fall into at least 6. My personal favorites are “Pleasing People” and “Focusing on Your Weaknesses”. I have an entire website, right here, and another 1 million words in an offline journal that speak to both of these points. “Problem Contacts” tend to be other people I know who want to write but don’t or people at work. Poor diet and exercise? That’s in the writer’s job description. Connectivity Addiction (blogs, email, etc) is something that might feed the poor self-image rather than their own special entry, but I like the fact that the author pointed it out specifically. In fact, I liked it so much I wrote a blog entry. Doh. I already mentioned disorganization, so that leaves the “squeaky hinges” which is the one I identify with the least. I guess that’s because I tend to push forward and try to fix things quickly by nature. Still, I can let certain things go for a long time.

Check out the list and see what you think!

2 thoughts on “Do Productivity Systems Actually Help You Write?

  1. No doubt about it, I’m a pleaser. I agree that it’s tough to figure out if these productivity systems could work for a creative process. Sometimes I think that my lack of process is what gets me through the writing day.

  2. I always bucked “process” and “routine” until I sat down an tried it. it was hard, but eventually I got into it. Been doing it every day since. Like the list, btw.

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