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© 2019 by Savannah J. Goins all rights reserved 

Incognito Accountability

July 5, 2018


One sneaky way to boost your productivity


You may have heard it said that people live up to the expectations others have for them. A kid with successful parents with PhD's will be more likely to get the same level of education, and maybe take on the family business. It's expected of him. If someone has started a habit of going to the gym every day with a group of other people, it will be easier for her to keep it up because she knows everyone expects her to be there. So even if she’s feeling tired and lazy, she’ll go and end up feeling better about herself because she lived up to the expectations.


The expectations of others can be annoying at times, even downright unfair, but why not take advantage of them to increase your writing productivity?


Sometimes I really struggle with sleepiness. I plan to accomplish all these things when I get home from work, and by the time I walk in the door the couch is calling out to me and the projects I was excited about working on seem much less appealing. 


In that moment, no one expects me to stick to my agenda for the evening. No one will see me nod off at my computer. No one will see me weakly give in to exhaustion and crawl under my warm fuzzy blanket to snooze the evening away.


But it is generally not considered normal to fall asleep in public.


Would you agree?


Your fellow coffee shop-goers expect the people around them to converse among themselves or type away at their laptops, not fall asleep on the table and start snoring. Because of this expectation, you can sneakily use them all as accountability for as long as you are there. And they will never know!


So if you’re struggling with distractions or the need to nap, why not go some place where you are expected to sit at your computer for a while and not take a break for housework, extra snacks or nap time?


I especially like locally-owned coffee shops. Building a relationship with local businesses is another perk to spending more time writing in public. I started writing frequently at one in particular a few months before my first book release and they invited me to have the book release party at their shop. I write there frequently and have even done a few events there with fellow local authors.


So how do you find these types of places?


Well, there’s a Starbucks on almost every corner, so that’s one thing. But if you’re looking for the homier, locally-owned type of place, try googling “coffee shops in [your city]” and see what you get in the area.


Other places to write are libraries (great places to build connections), local parks, and sometimes bookstores, if there’s a place to sit, and the books don't distract you too much.


Writing in public can help you stay awake and focused, which can lead to increased productivity. That will lead to greater confidence in yourself as a writer, and when you feel like a productive writer, it's even easier to act like one.


So while living up to expectations others have for you can be a negative thing in some situations, using them to your advantage can be a great way to get things done incognito-style.


Do you have a favorite public writing place? Other ways to increase productivity? Please share in the comments!

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