O my little Mangolias! Welcome to another Edition of Clear the Decks Friday, in which we complete our most Troublesome Tasks together. For Clearing ones Decks has a Salubrious and Invigorating affect; and many Agents find themselves Turning to their Writing with renewed Vigour.
Let us Begin!
Today I wish to expound on the numberless Benefits of a time-Honored productivity Tool: the humble Timer. The Fiction-Writing Directorate employs Timers in a variety of Manners. My Favorite is to place the Recalcitrant Writer on a platform suspended over a Pit of Ravenous Wolverines, and set a Timer. If the Writer completes his or her Designated Task before the Timer sounds, and with perfect Focus, then all is Well.
But if the timer’s Dulcet Tones ring out first, or I see that the Writer’s Mind has Wandered far afield, I pull a Lever which tips the Platform, and the Writer plummets into the bloody Pit, and his Screams ring out above the vicious Snarls of the Wolverines as they feed.
Thus we see the Timer has a marvelously Focusing effect on the Mind of the Writer.
Timers for Home Use
I do not expect that our Readers are equipped with their own Wolverine-Pits (and most home Wolverine-Pits are simply not large enough for this Purpose). Fear not, my little Douglas Firs! Even without a Pit, Platform, and Lever of Doom, you can achieve an implacable Focus simply by using a Timer.
First, select your Timer. You may use a simple Kitchen Timer, your Alarm Clock, download a Timer to your Computer, find a Plug-In for your Browser, use a Timer on the Inter-Webs, or any of a Thousand possibilities. Delicate Flowers and Mystics may like the Zen Timer on their iPhone; Sturdier types may prefer an Obnoxiously Loud alarm. It does not matter in the Least which Timer you use; all that Matters is that you Select one.
Perhaps I shall ask Webmaster Boggins to build a Special timer for the Directorate. Perhaps, my little Cauli-Flowers.
Select your Task
Once you have chosen your Timer, select your Task. I beseech you, Writer, do not become Lost among your Tasks, the maze of your Endless Lists, your careful Color-Coding and Prioritization Scheme. Simply pick a Task. Select one Randomly if you must.
Set your Timer and Begin
It is time to Set yourself upon a Platform suspended above a Wolverine-Pit — using only the powers of your Mind! My little Cabbage-Rose, you are a Writer, so I trust you will have no significant Difficulty imagining the Scenario. Imagine the Snarls of the Wolverines; smell the Stench of their Anal Sacs; see its sturdy Limbs and fierce Teeth. Feel the Precarious Balance of your Platform.
Imagine the Platform tipping because your mind Wandered or you did not Complete your task. O, what a horrid Fate!
Magnificently Focusing, isn’t it?
Now set your Timer, and Begin. Think of Nothing but your Task until the Timer chimes; let all other Concerns fade away.
What is your Task? How long will you set your Timer? Tell us, and then Begin! Later, report: did you Succeed? Or were the Wolverines sated with your Flesh?