How many words can you write in 3 to 5 minutes?
I have been living through a major life crisis, and for the first time in decades my time is NOT my own.
I used to efficiently plow through developing websites, strategizing client marketing campaigns, setting up SEO tactics that worked, and … writing blog posts, website copy, and more.
I would efficiently schedule one hour to three hour work sessions and manage to accomplish massive amounts of work every day.
My time is fractured. I am distracted. There are days I can’t work. There are days I can’t bring myself to work.
This ONE strategy has actually kept me going. By using it I have actually completed posts for my blogs, articles for Medium.
It works simply because …
It is SO simple!
At this point … I’m stopping to point out that I have written 136 words in about three minutes.
Basically this is how I have kept going.
Little sprints of writing. All I need is 3 – 5 minutes.
Most of the time I don’t get near 136 words in three minutes. My average is around 100 words per sprint. Most of my sprints are about five minutes.
There are times when all I can manage is one sentence. It really depends on the type of material I am working on.
Some articles require a lot of research, careful planning and thought. Every sentence is work. HARD WORK.
Some articles require research, but are easy to write. Those go way faster.
I am able to call on my store of knowledge and experience to write yet other articles. Parts of the articles may go quickly, while other parts require loads of reworking in order to flow and make sense to the reader.
And the fastest articles are simple miracles to me. They just flow out of my head, through my fingers on onto the screen. Magic. FAST magic.
Some days, I just can’t do anything. Other days I manage one, maybe two sprints and days like today … I’ll manage to do 5 to 10 sprints.
It really adds up. Five 100-word sprints is a short article. Ten 100-word sprints can be a solid medium sized article.
There are times I actually publish a 500-word article. Then a few days later I’ll come back and add to it.
And here’s a kicker. There are times when I work at my computer keyboard, but there are also times when all I have is a scrap of paper, or my journal, or the tiny notebook I always have with me. Writing is writing. Fifty words at a time can quickly turn into 100-words.
Though I am not happy with the circumstances I am in, I am pleased at being able to still accomplish some work, even if it is only in bits and pieces.
Here are a few of the circumstances I’ve done sprints in.
- Hospital emergency room, waiting for doctors (lots of these).
- Standing in a hospital hallway.
- My car, in the hospital parking lot.
- In a bank lineup.
- At McDonald’s on the back of a menu.
- At home when my cat gives me a nudge.
- At home when I absolutely HAVE to write.
- At home, when I wake up in a panic attack in the middle of the night.
- Yep … on the toilet.
- After a marathon of mind-numbing TV, trying to avoid everything.I suspect there are easier ways to do this, but right now this is my life.
100-word sprints WORK
Here Is WHY You Should Try It …
You have trouble sustaining longer writing sessions.
You don’t particularly LIKE writing, but MUST (your thesis or work report).
You are distracted and can’t maintain your focus.
You are constantly interrupted. Just fill in the uninterrupted holes with sprints.
You stand in lines a lot … Starbucks comes to mind.
Your kids are your priority, but you can manage 3 minutes without them.
Here’s HOW …
Have a notebook in your purse, pocket at all times.
Have a notebook in your kitchen, bathroom, beside your bed.
If you are in one place for several hours, leave your laptop in sleep mode.
If your computer will stay open, just leave it on … every time you pass by it, you might be able to do a sprint.
I absolutely HATE smart phones and would never do this, but some people love them and are actually insane enough to key in 50 words? 100 words?
Talk to Siri or Google and send yourself a 100-word email.
This article? Is the result of five sprints and is now at 752 words.
Let me know how it works for YOU.