Juggling vs. Hyperfocusing

My journey to publish 100 books has, thus far, meant a lot of juggling. For the past now five months I’ve been working on 5+ projects simultaneously.

My brain works that way and thrive with the juggle. But coming off a week where I feel like I didn’t make enough positive progress on books — instead watching lots of the time I have available to work on this endeavor going to side tasks — I find myself at the inevitable moment of re-evaluating my approach and wondering if I should try to pare down.

The pros of working on one project at a time:

  • Get that project to the finish line faster.
  • By focusing only on that project during my book time, I can make sure I’m giving it as much of my mental bandwidth as possible.
  • That project will be on my mind all the time, meaning inspiration can strike outside of my allotted work time.
  • Arguably less risk of burnout.
  • Arguably more sustainable.
  • Less context switching.

The cons of working on one project at a time:

  • I derive energy from switching up what I work on; I run out of gas for the night much later when I’m switching things up.
  • It’s hard working on the same thing that uses the exact same parts of the brain; I can likely get better overall results jumping around.
  • Working on multiple projects means I can stack repetitive tasks and avoid having to re-learn processes.
  • I compartmentalize a lot of the projects (for instance, I only work on my next novel right now when I’m dictating on walks) so the context switching isn’t that hard.
  • Moving lots of projects along slowly but steadily keeps the pipeline filled with “almost ready” books.

The decision I reached was to move to a somewhat more focused approach. While I’ll continue doing my triggered writing streaks (e.g., in bed at night, on walks) on different books, I’m spending my ~1 hour a day of time at my computer on the same project until it’s finished.

This week I’m focusing on finishing my children’s book. It took me a long time to crack the ending. Now that I have, I’m working through writing the rhymes. Turns out epic poetry takes a while.

Call that another lesson learned.

To follow along with my day-to-day progress, check the Work Log.


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