the-power-of-30-minutesSet a timer for 30 minutes, start typing, and don’t stop until the timer goes off.

I could stop writing this post now, and you’d know about 90% of what I’m about to say, but nonetheless, I’d love it if you’d stick with me for 250 more words.

I’ve been focusing a lot lately on how to write well. How to use words to make an impact. In fact, one of my titles was: How to Write Like an Expert.

What I haven’t done is acknowledge the fact that half the battle of putting words into the Internet is making the time to write them in the first place.

You’ve loved my 24/48 rule. So now I’m adding a new one to the rule book. Write for 30 minutes straight.

It’s not that much. It’s how much time watching Seinfeld used to take before DVR. It’s how long it takes to get ready in the morning (if you have long hair that needs blow drying). It’s 1/48th of your entire day. It’s 1/336th of your entire week.

So take 30 minutes out of your day, set a timer (there’s probably one on your phone), and start writing. Don’t stop to check email or answer a phone call. Pretend you are in a meeting with a very important client, and you simply cannot take that 15 seconds to order-in Thai food.

By doing this you not only find the time to write, but you will find the focus to write. Getting in that zone where you crank out what you need to instead of flitting around a 300 word blog post for two hours is essential.

Knowing you only have 30 minutes to get it done, but also knowing you have that 30 minutes uninterrupted will get you focused, get you in the zone, and result in progress.

So that was actually 256 words. I’ll go back and cut 6 of them. In 24 hours. And then again in 48. But now 30 minutes are almost up, so for now, I bid you adieu.

p.s. I saw The Social Network last weekend. I loved it. A very interesting story. Now I want to meet Mark Zuckerberg and ask what was true and what wasn’t. Although I doubt he’d tell me. What’d you guys think?



Comments ( 6 )

  1. Tristan
    Great tip! I'm so bad at just buckling down and writing. I get distracted so easily and it really does end up taking me forever to get anything written. But you've inspired me. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm going to write in 30 minute blocks tomorrow. Thanks!
    • AuthorRebecca
      Hi Tristan, Let me know how it goes! It really is effective. Another commentator left this website that he runs which I've been using and it's greathttp://ticktocktimer.com Thanks for the comment!
  2. Christy Smith
    There is definitely something to be said for knowing how many words you can write in "x" amount of time. I know that after NanoWrimo, in my fiction writing I can put in my 1667 words in just about an hour. I can pound out a 500 word blog post in 20-30 minutes- but the tweaking/editing takes at least that amount of time again. Knowing the benchmark though really helps you plan your time effectively. I read the book that The Social Network is based on. If even a portion of it is true- very interesting...
    • AuthorRebecca
      Hi Christy, You can write fast! That's great. I agree that it's the editing and revising that can take the most time, but for me, the hardest part if getting it down. I don't need to push myself as hard to get the post edited. I'll have to pick up the book. Thanks for the tip.
  3. Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer
    Good article. I often write for 30 minutes straight and find it very powerful. I created a website for this very technique that I think you and your readers would be interested in: http://ticktocktimer.com Using the site above is an easy way to time yourself for 30 minutes to ensure you write for that period of time without cessation.
    • AuthorRebecca
      Wow! That's awesome. I'm going to start using it in about 10 seconds. Thanks for letting me know about it!