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Does the Egg Time Really Work?

As a writer, any little trick I can use to keep my creative juices flowing and my creative self writing, I believe is well worth it.

When I first began to write, I could not deny any distraction. If the telephone rand, I thought I had to answer. It could be important. Someone needed me to listen to their problem. I had to be there for them. If a family member knocked on my office door looking for their keys, shoes or school paper, I thought I had to help them. If they wanted to know what was for dinner that evening, I needed to stop writing to answer all of their questions.

Honestly, I could not blame every distraction on someone else. I had my own mental weakness to all of the things which needed my attention. The laundry needed washing. The kitchen needed to be cleaned. The floors needed to be swept. I could go on and on about my lack of focus which led me to inner frustration because at the end of the day there were no words on the paper.

I believe the need to answer the telephone was the worst of them all. One call could easily cause me to lose track of time for a minimum of thirty minutes. One day I had an idea to set an egg timer. I would answer the phone but I put myself and the party on the other end, without their knowledge, a limited amount of time. When the timer went off, I became consistent with ending the conversation. As a result, the amount of my writing increased.

As I began to gain a focus for my writing over my presumed needs, I was able to stop answering the distractions and write. I was proud of what I had accomplished by setting the egg timer. I then decided to challenge myself with timer on another level. I set the timer to make sure I wrote for a certain length of time. I first started with fifteen minutes a day of writing time, and then it moved to thirty minutes. Consistently using the timer everyday helped me to focus on my writing.

Now, years later as a writer, I do not use the egg time anymore. The trick I used to increase my writing and to keep my creative juices flowing was consistency.  In the beginning, I thought it was the egg timer and indeed it was the tool. Using this particular tool helped me to do the same thing over and over again.

Practicing the ability to repeat a particular task with minimal variation will lead to a place of stability. The focus I gained from simply setting the egg timer day after day increased my creative flow by destroying the urge to be pulled away from my writing. This did not happen overnight. It took some time and some persistence. I knew I was in a place of wanting to be more productive and something had to be done.

Any tool that will increase the creative self is worth exploring. It may be a walk in the park. It may be listening to music. I know if I ever find myself stuck again, not being able to write or being distracted; the egg timer is always kept in the corner of the top left hand side of the office desk drawer.

© 2013 Cynthia L. Hatcher