I started keeping a log of how much time I spend writing a day. I don’t really have a goal in mind as much as I want to know just how much time I actually spend versus time I thought I spent.
This is the sort of record keeping that I have always resented in the past but now that I want to finish this giant Haunted House CYOA before Halloween, I am very curious. If I fail at that goal, I want to be able to look back and figure out why. I am brutally honest in my records on why I stopped writing and it has created some interesting trends. Comic book day is hard to write. Days that I am depressed as hard to write. This kind of data is nice to have as I can form strategies for dealing with it.
The best result of this is when big legitimate reasons for missing my writing time occur, I have it written down. I usually get frustrated with my slow progress but now I can point at a block of time and go, “No one is getting shit done when they have to spend all their time dealing with health insurance.” I haven’t had a guilt episode since this record keeping and that is very nice for me.
Record keeping has also made me very aware of my writing habits. I tend to write in twenty minute bursts and then have an urge to be distracted. The act of stopping a timer every time I want to be distracted makes me very aware that I am sabotaging myself. Since I have recorded my writing time, I have managed to extend my usual writing burst to an hour before I need some sort of distraction break.
Right now I am using an Excel spreadsheet where I list the date, minutes logged writing and any notes of the day. I have to stress that I have fought this kind of detailed record keeping at every job I have held but now, I find it so useful.
I recommend you give it a try too.