On the radio today I listened to Sam Wang, an articulate doctor (translation: he talked so that I could understand) discuss the new scientific findings that indicate we have only so much “will power” at our disposal. Yes, he said we can actually run out of will power. He went on to explain that is why you should not try to do two (or three, or four) big important things at the same time–like don’t try to diet while you have to work intensely on a project with a deadline. He co-authored all of this info as an op/ed piece in the New York Times.
Okay, I take it that means I can blame any weight gain on the excuse that I’m so busy plotting another book, or writing another article, or finding new sources of financial aid for this year’s College Planner (and my own daughter’s education). I know I definitely needed chocolate while I was pulling together all of my tax stuff for this year (yes, they’re finished, thank goodness), so since I was focused on the tax deadline I was excused for the couple of pounds I gained that week, right?
In the interview, he said a person can try to focus on two or more big things to accomplish at the same time, but the results won’t be stellar.
As a writer, this truly makes sense to me. When I’m focused on just one writing project, my success rate at word count–and I mean GOOD word count–skyrockets. But when I have other writing assignments due at the same time and I have to allocate time to each, the writing doesn’t come nearly as easily.
If you want to hear the full story from the good doctor’s mouth, here’s the link to listen to the radio show I was listening to–it’s only about 20 minutes long if you have DSL or similar speed Internet. Just click onto the “Listen Now” button at the top of the web page, just under the headline:
In the meantime, I’m left with the question: what to do, what to do? Well, I’ve examined all of the evidence and believe I’ve made the only valid decision. I recognize a great one-track path when I see it…
So, pardon the chocolate on my fingers while my focus stays on my WIP.