Level Up! Time Management RPG

NaNo is over. The chaos of Christmas and New Years is behind us. And the grace period of January has been expended. It’s time to pick up my novel again, and get some work done.

Truth be told, I enjoy working on my novel. But again and again, I find it bewilderingly difficult to actually get my novel out and do something. Imagine I’m sitting in my favourite café, a pot of delightful tea in front of my, headphones firmly planted in my ears, the pages I’m editing on the table. So what am I doing? Probably checking twitter on my iPhone. Or wondering if I feel like a piece of cake (poke poke, no, not really, I think I feel kinda meaty). Or trying to decide which tea I’ll try next.

But once I actually pick up my pen and start work, I’ll be at it for hours. I’ll even be disappointed if I run out of work to do.

So why can’t I get started?

Yesterday I decided to try something new. I found this blog: Time Management RPG through a forum sig – someone else who, like me, like the blog writer, needed a bit of an extra push to get started.

The system is simple: complete challenges to gain progress points. Gain enough progress points to level up.

And clearly, I need the help. Over the weekend I procrastinated myself into deciding that I would start on Monday (granted, I was otherwise occupied on the weekend, and when the muse says jump, you say “how high”, and my muse wanted me to draw, so draw I did); but I almost failed on the very first day.

Granted, one of the benefits to the Time Management RPG is that you can’t fail. In the early stages you can fail to progress, but you can’t actually screw up.

I was pretty tired last night, so when I got home I decided to take a nap. At about 9pm when I woke up, I was trying to decide if I should get up and do stuff, or just sleep through till morning. And sleeping seemed like a pretty tempting option. Almost everything I was planning on doing: showering, cleaning, eating; could wait until morning. But I hadn’t done my 5 minutes to level up.

As embarrassing as that would have been, failing to find 5 whole minutes on the first day, it is even more embarrassing to admit that the reason I got up and cleaned, showered, ate, and worked on my novel is not because of the Time Management RPG, but because I needed to harvest my yellow roses on Farmville, and that wouldn’t keep till morning.

The shame.

Had I written this post yesterday (ha! procrastinate much?), it would have been far less interesting, but I also would have been able to tell you that I’d decided to make one small change to the rules, and it would have looked like I was being too hard on myself. In light of what happened last night, perhaps I’m not being hard enough.


1. I can only level once per day, no matter how many progress points I earn.

2. Progress points do not roll over. If I level up, excess progress points are lost.

3. I can lose levels under 16.

a. On any day that I fail to do any work at all on my novel, I automatically lose a progress point. For levels under 12, this means losing a level.
b. On any day that I don’t meet the requirements to gain a progress point, I will not lose a progress point if I have completed the equivilent of a progress point for one level lower than my current level.

So, after fucking around on Facebook for a while, I managed to find 5 whole minutes, and I leveled up! I’m currently level two, which means two 5-minute sessions within a half-hour period today.

Follow my progress on Twitter.


~ by ghostwolfe on February 9, 2010.

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