Friday, May 16, 2014

Quantifying My Productivity

Last year, I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time.  (Short for National Novel Writing Month.)  It was one of my most productive months, and I think the biggest reason was because I kept track of my progress. 

I love to write, but at the same time, it’s so much easier to procrastinate.  The NaNoWriMo website has a tracker that allowed me to write my word count for the day and I could see the progress throughout the month.  Last month, I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo, where I could create my own word count goals and add them together.

Later, once I finished with my word count goal, my productivity tanked.  It’s not that I really pay attention to word count, but I love seeing a visual representation of my progress.  I attempted to set something up in Microsoft Excel, though I really don’t know how to use the program well enough to do anything really helpful.

That’s where my sister comes in.  I told her about my attempts, and being the genius she is, she was able to set something up that I absolutely love. 

I thought I’d share it here, so that if any of you are Excel gurus, you’d probably be able to set it up yourself.

 She started out with two columns - One for the daily word count, and the second column automatically adds them all up together.  (Something about auto sum, I think.)

Obviously, I don't write daily, and since I've been working on revisions on paper, I only update word count once it's typed up, which is why there's 6000 on some days.  (And the beginning of this month was not productive at all, hence all the zero's.

Then, she added graphs (and showed me how to make graphs) so that I can see the progress throughout the month. 

Awesome, right?  She's definitely talented at what she does.

Do you pay attention to word count?  How do you quantify your productivity?