I keep seeing the “don’t break the chain” productivity hack being mentioned again and again as a way of getting things done. The premise is fairly straightforward; to make sure you do a certain thing you want/need to do, you do it every day, keep track of it and don’t break that chain of doing-ness.
I can see it working in some situations, but especially with creative work, there’s dubious value in doing something sub-standard for the sake of it. Do you, for example, absolutely have to do your thing? What if you’re doing something else? Out with friends! It seems to have the potential to dominate other activities.
On those grounds, I would generally never consider taking on such a scheme. Whilst I’ve kinda tried it on a smaller scale before (oh hey, blogging here at least once a week), writing every day? Meeeh. Not really one for me. Routine has a habit of becoming mundane.
It was, then, a series of fairly innocent events that led to me writing ~500 words of blog post once a day, every week-day, and fairly consistently at that. I’ve started calling them “midnight blog posts” as, well, I’ll sit down with my netbook at half eleven and try and finish up by midnight.
I've got a new habit of starting blog posts at half eleven and finishing at midnight. I'm usually pretty tired, but productivity shoots up.
— Alex Denning (@AlexDenning) July 1, 2013
I’ve been making my way through a list of ideas for posts leading up to my third attempt at launching my blogging tips site, BlogBettr (more on that later). 500 words isn’t generally enough time to finish off a post, but it’s enough to make a pretty damn big dent in a post, and it certainly creates something which can be fairly easily edited and finished off at a later date.
As I tweeted at 00.01 on Tuesday, there’s a slight tiredness trade off, but it’s just good to finish off the day by getting something done. And that’s pretty cool.
I don’t know if it’s that, or I’ve got myself into a routine, but man — writing every day is great. Just don’t break the chain, eh?