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The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a handy time management strategy that boosts efficiency and reduces fatigue. Here’s how it works: Set a timer for 25 minutes. Work, without getting up or Facebooking.  When time’s up take a 5 minute break.  Repeat with longer breaks every 2 hours. Try stopping mid-sentence when the bell rings, you’ll never be happier to get back… Read more »

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“Wear a Jacket at all Times”

In an interview with Bomb Magazine, director Rob Weiss (Entourage, Amongst Friends, How to Make it in America) shares some practical advice for filmmakers working long hours on set.  “Wear a jacket at all times so you can wrap it under your head when you pass out.” Image: LA TImes

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Sit, Stay

Click the doggy for more comprehensive instructions.

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Wear Headphones (at all times)

Show them you’re busy. Find a pair that’s cumbersome to take off–or better yet, the noise canceling type that actually block out the world. Refer to the following script for maximum effect:            EXT. BUSY STREET, DAY                 INTERRUPTER–needy and extroverted (master of the ‘real… Read more »

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‘!’

“Cut out all these exclamation points,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald, “an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”Author Peter Shankman tweeted: “Multiple exclamation points are the written equivalent to jazz hands.”Elmore Leonard, in his 10 Rules of Writing, suggests rationing them–one exclamation point per hundred thousand words of prose. Leonard cautions against the word ‘suddenly’… Read more »

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Chop Wood, Carry Water

“Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.”                              –Zen proverb. Image: Zen Dojo of Wisconsin

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“Safe Return Doubtful” — Shackleton’s Call for Submissions

Image: John Hyatt This is the original advert with which Ernest Shackleton recruited men for his ill-fated Antarctic expedition. Besides being considered one of the finest examples of copywriting in the 20th century* the ad attracted a first rate crew who’s safe return from an icebound shipwreck became legend.  Those were the days before liability laws… Read more »

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Tough Love from ‘Cool Runnings’

In Bird by Bird: some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott quotes Disney’s Cool Runnings as advice on publication: “A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.” 

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Go for a Walk

Go for a 15 minute walk, whether that’s around the neighborhood, down the beach or through the woods. If that doesn’t bring you back to center, come back here for more procrastination hacks. I doubt you’ll need to. 

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TK

T.K is journalism speak  for ‘to come.’*  Next time you’re stuck just insert this handy abbreviation and move on. In nonfiction it can stand in for facts and stats you can look up later, thus avoiding the ‘black hole’ of internet research. For fiction writers, TK relieves the burden of having to find the mot juste.  He had… Read more »