This is more ‘general productivity’ than beeminder specific, though ideally once I have a bit of a plan I’d like to beemind it.
I have a common problem — things I’ve started but not finished. But most of the advice I’ve found for these scenarios focuses on finding ways to put in more time or to rediscover the enjoyment of the project. I actually do put in what I think is enough time, for the things that don’t seem to be going anywhere — I just work on the wrong things.
My #1 goal for 2018 was to revise and submit a specific journal article for which I had a complete first draft. I submitted five other articles instead. It’s easy to spot why those five were easier: they were collaborative, so I was accountable to my co-writers, AND they had firm deadlines. Not the case for the work I set out to publish.
I tried to give myself collaborators and a deadline by starting a weekly writing group, working our way through the book “Writing Your Journal Article In Twelve Weeks,” which was fun and improved the article immensely but which did not lead to actual completion for me.
When I sit down to work on this article, or any of the others in a similar state, I do whatever seems most fun rather than whatever’s most important to completion. Most counterproductively, I keep inventing new research to do, instead of polishing the research I already have. The research is done! I just need to write it up so someone else can understand it!
I’d like to try tackling this from the angle of building up my “intrinsic drive to completion” muscles. I’m thinking about some kind of guided freewriting, “what can I do next that will get this paper closest to done,” on a regular schedule. And hopefully over time I’ll get used to working on those tasks first… Does anyone have advice or reading recommendations?