Introducing the module today was less about content (we will get there next week) but on structure, rationale behind the course and its set-up as well as on routines and habits – more the bad ones we are determined to kill off this term. In a mood of confession time, these were some of the habits we addressed when we asked to confess a WEAKNESS:

Problem: A tendency towards ‘Aversion to Writing’ (we all know this one, we have all been there, came up repeatedly) – Crack it: Start writing early, work with drafts, finish draft early and quote: ‘Eliminate wasted time!!!’ Here comes our warm inCracking Habitsvitation to come along to Snack Writing, Thursdays, 1-2pm, Room 1.15; see what you can write in an hour and have those words banked).

Problem: Putting too much work into a day & week (while being relatively organised and productive, can leave a feeling of, well, ‘underachievement’). Crack it: Leave buffer time; plan only 6 hrs a day rather than 8-9 hrs but make them quality, focused, deep time. Make plans, stick to them – but pick a time every other week to self-critically revise what has worked and what has not.

Problem: Multi tasking and doing too much at once. Crack it: How about say ‘No’, Konrad, and try serial work rather than multi.

Problem: Lack of focus over longer periods of time. Crack it: Make these period shorter (start with 30minutes deep focused reading and expand; research says no more than 90 mins deep work in one stretch); take breaks and have a look at the Pomodoro Method. Don’t eat the tomato, try it.

Problem: ‘Nervous about public speaking and sharing opinion’. Crack it: Perhaps not an easy one as it is so personal – standing in front of the group. But practice helps: at home, get out the words, time yourself, tape yourself (easier as ever today), watch your habits and gestures. Or read Quiet by Susan Cain. Now you are allowed to YouTube – go for a few TED talks and analyse techniques.

Problem: Perfectionism. Crack it: Forget it! What is that anyway: the perfect piece, book, articles? IT DOES NOT EXIST! Just read four reviews of the same book. AND: Take a blank piece of paper, write ‘Perfectionism’ on it and throw it out of the window or, better, burn it in public. And: Share drafts, discuss them, test the product – but it will never be perfect.

Problem: Writing every night & late evening (not being able to sleep). Crack it: Do it early. First things first in the morning, take a rock solid chunk of time each day / regularly, at a time when you have the energy that works for you. Build a rock solid writing routine. More on #THRaSH.

See you Thursday? Writing Time 1pm, Room 1.15


Week 1: Soul Searching Introduction