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  • Writer's pictureSL Eastwood

4 Benefits of Writing Sprints: The Ultimate Productivity Hack

Updated: May 11

Think you don’t have time to write? Try Sprints!

Notebook and coffee
Photo by Yannick Pulver on Unsplash

Do you have a creative project burning a hole in your brain but you lack the time and energy to focus?


Lucky for you, it's possible to make headway with a project with just an hour a week using a method called writing sprints.


Writing sprints are short bursts of focus that force you to write a lot in a short amount of time and help you switch that attention switch from OFF to ON.


In fact, writing sprints are so effective I used them to finish the first draft a novel in just 4 months. It's so easy!



So, if you want to know how to use this great trick to be more creative in less time, keep reading to learn the 4 benefits of writing sprints.

How Sprints Work

Writing sprints, also known as the Pomodoro technique, are where you perform bursts of focused effort followed by short procrastination breaks.

You can think of it as HIIT for your brain, which allow you to get a lot of a task done in a short amount of time. Sprints are great if you have a busy schedule, or struggle with procrastination, but still want to achieve a creative goal like writing a novel.


The best way to do sprints is to set yourself a timer for the amount of time you want to be focused for and then allow yourself a shorter break period to recharge. You can also take a longer break after a certain amount of sprint sessions.


The split can be whatever you want, 15–10, 25–5, whatever amount of time you need to maintain focus for the sprint. It's best to experiment and see what works for you.

It's an amazing hack to beat procrastination and power up your productivity.


What Are The Main Benefits Of Sprints?

Keeps you focused

Writing sprints are a great way to force your brain into a focused state. Anyone can stay on task for a set amount of time, be that 5 or 30 minutes.


Writing sprints are especially good because they reward you for focusing by giving you a free, no guilt procrastination break in between sets.


This is an excellent technique if you’re feeling a bit fried or you struggle with focus in general (where are all my ADD’ers at?)


Just think of it like this, as soon as you get your sprint session done… you can go and do something fun. Doesn’t that sound great?


Increase writing speed

Because you only have a short amount of time to write, sprints force you to write FAST, which means you don’t have as much time to second guess yourself. Less IRL editing, means more words on the page.


So many of us writing folk are perfectionists who stare at a blank page for hours trying to think of just the right words. But the problem is you can’t get finished if you don’t get started.


With writing sprints you can throw all that perfectionism out of the window. If you’ve got 500 words to write and only 10 minutes to do it, you sure can bet you won’t be dilly-dallying.

The quicker you write, the quicker you can be done with that tedious first draft and get onto the fun part — editing!


Helps you make time for writing

A lot of times when we’re trying to build a habit, it’s not the doing that’s the problem, it’s the STARTING. Many of us are tired with busy schedules and so the idea of carving out several hours a week to write sounds like torture.


However, with writing sprints you get a lot done in a short amount of time. Got 15 minutes to spare? Do a sprint! You can break sessions up in any way that fits with your schedule meaning you’ll never have an excuse not to.


Just think, you could do two writing sprints in the time it would usually take you to watch 1 sitcom! That sounds like time extremely well spent.


Imagine how much of your project you could get finished if you committed just 30 minutes to writing a few times a week. You won’t even feel like you’re working and think how proud you’ll be finishing that project.



They’re fun

The best thing about writing sprints is you can make a game out of it. Wrote 200 words last sprint, why not 300 in the next one? Set small goals and compete against yourself to improve your writing speed each time.


You can even challenge your friends to see who can get the most written in a session. Plus, you can use those short breaks to chat and socialise with your writing group and make the experience so much more enjoyable.

Keep Yourself Accountable

If you want to keep yourself accountable to your own writing goals why not join me on stream at SprintsWithSammie every Friday from 6:00–8:00pm (UK).

All writers are welcome, or even just people who want to focus, chat or share news. I'd love to have you join the fun.


Guess how many sprints it took me to write this article…



 

Thank you for reading. Make sure to leave a comment and share this with other writers.


Our aim at Obsidian Elephant is to help writers learn about the industry through practical examples without them having to spend lots of money on courses and programs.


Let us be your one-stop shop for everything writing related.


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