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Pat Yourself on the Back: Using Productivity Rewards to Get Your Writing Done

by The Procrastinating Writer on July 14, 2009

courtesy of woodleywonderworks

courtesy of woodleywonderworks

By Jennifer Blanchard

When a Girl Scout does everything required to earn a particular badge, she is rewarded with the badge. When a writer works hard to market herself, she will be rewarded with more exposure for her writing. When a musician plays his heart out at open mic nights a few times a week, people will start to take notice.

Knowing that you’ll be rewarded for all your hard work makes you want to work hard, doesn’t it? So when getting writing done comes with a reward that speaks to you, you’re going to actually sit down and write, aren’t you?

Rewards can be very motivational, as long as the reward fits the person receiving it.

For example, if you love to read (can’t get enough of it; can’t go a day without it), you can use reading as a reward for writing.

Using this example, here is how rewarding yourself would work:

  • You set a goal: Write for 30 minutes.
  • When the 30 minutes is up, you would reward yourself with some reading time.

Rewards can also work the opposite way: If you make a goal of writing for 30 minutes, but then you procrastinate and don’t get any writing done, you forgo your reading session for the day.

A consequence—not being able to read that day—will help you make a habit of writing when you say you’re going to.

And if you do this properly and truly withhold your reading session when you skip your writing session, you’ll begin to realize that 30 minutes of writing is nothing worth procrastinating over when it gets you 30 minutes of time to curl up with your favorite book.

Do you reward yourself for being productive? Why or why not?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Carol July 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Although I have often rewarded my writing progress with reading time, but I never thought of taking away reading time for lack of progress. Great idea!

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