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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Track Your Product Time

Every week, I track what I intend to do during my Product Time during the week. Every weekday, I record what I actually do. Tracking my Product Time gives me a sense of accomplishment and reminds me to give myself small, regular rewards to keep myself motivated.

Tracking also alerts me if there’s a significant difference between what I think I can do and what I actually do. I get this information fast enough to correct the situation (either by lowering my expectations to fit reality or increasing my efforts to meet my goals).

Here’s what I record:

  • Date
  • Intended start time
  • How long I intend to work (beyond my standard 15 minute commitment, which I never miss)
  • What I intend to work on
  • When I actually started
  • How long I actually worked
  • What I actually worked on
  • What I gave myself as a reward
  • How I feel about the day’s work
  • Questions or observations about what I’m working on
  • What I need to focus on next time

If you track your writing progress, I’d love to hear what you keep track of and what benefits you get from tracking. If you don’t track your writing progress, what are you waiting for?

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2 Comments on “Track Your Product Time”

  1. caro December 13, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    I keep a sheet of graph paper on my bulletin board and fill in one 1/4-inch square for every day I do my 15-20 min. of writing time. Simple & quick, and gives me a good visual each week of whether I’m sticking to it, and a satisfying visual over the long term (all those squares filled in add up to something).


    • rosannebane December 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

      Great idea Caro! I love the visual simplicity of it.


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