I finally have an accountability tracker.
After several days – nay, weeks – in which I accomplished nothing of importance and after complaining about my failings over and over again, my brother had enough of it. In response he has created a nifty Excel document that I must fill out every day to track how I spend my time.
Points are awarded based on how much time I put in, in a specific area. I get points for posting book reviews. I get points for reading scripts. I get points for attending writing classes or meetups. I even get points for doing chores around the house.
But the bulk of the points available are earned for each hour of writing and exercising. Getting published is a major goal of mine, as is getting in shape, for obvious health reasons.
An hour of writing will earn me 16 points. Submitting a short story to a magazine, anthology, or querying a literary agent will garner 10 points. Posting a book review or post to my blog is worth six points, as is reading and rating scripts for the Austin Film Festival. Chores around the house earn four points. I can earn a maximum of 80 points in a day or 400 points per week. I can “cash in” my points for rewards at the end of the week, or bank the points toward a larger prize later on.
Prizes include movie tickets, books, a steak dinner, concerts, clothes, and more.
By tracking points across all areas I can see how I’ve been spending my time and what’s keeping me from my main goals.
One of the best parts of all this is I don’t need a key fob to be scanned or have to log in to a website to monitor my points progress. Instead, my brother is serving as the guardian/keeper of the accountability/rewards. I must show him proof of my deeds. So if I say I wrote for two hours, I will present him with a stack of pages to read. I’ll even post my weekly point totals on this site as further proof of my accomplishments.
I could have come up with this tracker on my own, of course, but like everything else I kept putting it off.
Now that my brother has devised this system, I have no more excuses.
If this doesn’t put a spark under me to get things done, I may have to resort to more drastic measures. I don’t know what those are yet, but I’m sure my brother will think of something.
What do you do to track your time spent on your writing goals?