Squish the Squirrels

Squish the Squirrels

Thanks to Jeffrey Hayzlett and his new book; “Think Big, Act Bigger”, for reminding me about a great scene in the movie “Up” where Carl and Russell first meet Dug the talking dog and just as he starts chatting, Dug swivels around and yelps “Squirrel!”

Then the joke gets repeated later in the movie with the other talking dogs.

Strange how I remember that scene.

No matter how clever we are, we still get distracted from the thing we are supposed to be working on and lose that precious focus and it can take minutes to get back into the flow again, if we ever do.

What are your “squirrels?”


A magic productivity tip from entrepreneur Tim Ferriss

A magic productivity tip from entrepreneur Tim Ferriss

Here is a top tip from the top entrepreneur and super savvy Tim Ferriss on how to increase your daily word count which I picked up from his excellent interview with Neil Strauss which you can still see HERE.

Use a simple psychological trick.

Set your daily word count to a very realistic but low target – let’s say 1000 words a day.

Then use this target to totally plan your writing so that you know that you will meet your deadlines, whether they be self-imposed [ the best] or contractual.

So a 50,000 word category romance would take 50 working days at 1000 words a day to produce your first draft. 10 weeks at 5000 words a week.  You chose when and where and how. But the average target is still 1000 words a day for 5 days a week to get to a first draft.


But here is the magic. You KNOW that you can write 1000 words – in fact you write more than 1000 words texting and emailing every day – so 1000 words is not threatening or scary.  4 or 5 pages. You can do that. No problem.

And you write that much in any way you like. Paper and pen, tablet, laptop, back of sandwich shop paper bags, your blackberry or smart phone. Anywhere you like. Bus stop. School run. Commute. Airport. Kitchen table. While the family are watching reality tv.

[ Confession – I once wrote almost 1000 words in a cinema under the low emergency lights while my DH watched the 30 mins of terrible trailers before the movie started.]

But what do you find  when you snatch, borrow or steal some time to write your 4 or 5 pages?

What I find is that the work takes over and once my mindset is tuned into this story world and the characters, my brain gets the message that it is play time and my creativity soars. This is especially true when I am writing new words in the first draft a book or article when that 1000 words can quickly become 2000 or 3000 words in a session.

Of course, you want to get to the end of your scene and write the conflict and turning point which will lead into the next scene.  So you carry on writing.  AND you write fast and in the zone.

It might be an old trick – but it works. Because it instantly knocks aside the big old barriers to getting started which block us for being our best.

After all. It is only 1000 words.


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