I publish a free tip of the week. I have for seven years. People sign up at www.GaryNorth.com.
Last Saturday, I sent out this. It was on routines.
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When I wrote my Economic Commentary on the Bible, I adopted a weekly input goal, because I did not know what I would find, how long it would take, or whether I would ever finish.
I allocated 10 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, 1977 to 2012. I finished within one month of my deadline.
I must now boil down 31 volumes into bite-size portions. I have a series of books to write.
My next one is titled “The Covenantal Structure of Christian Economics.” I know about how long the manuscript should be. I know how many chapters it will have. I know the basic breakdown of each chapter.
Because I know what I must do in terms of the book’s structure, I have switched from a weekly input goal to a daily output goal. This goal: two pages a day, six days a week. Some days I write more.
My daily goal output forces me to stick to a schedule. I want to finish the manuscript in seven months from today.
It’s “steady as you go.” It will get done if I stick to my schedule. There are daily victories. If I make an intellectual breakthrough — I have made one so far in 200 pages, in the middle of writing a paragraph — this is additional motivation. But I don’t rely on motivation. I rely on a schedule. You can’t trust in moments of motivation.
Rules: if you don’t know what you must accomplish, adopt an input goal. If you have a clear idea of what you will find, adopt an output goal.