You have a huge project to complete and a deadline looms. It might be a writing project, a paper for school, or a work assignment. So what happens? You plop down in front of the computer and get prepared to work. But before starting, there is something special you need to begin. If this one thing (or several) is not around you, or this activity isn’t completed beforehand, your productivity will suffer and the final product will be unsuccessful. Does this sound familiar?
These little habits, or maybe annoyances, are also known as quirks. According to Merriam-Webster, a quirk is defined as, “An unusual habit or way of behaving.”
The scenario mentioned earlier is what I face each time I start a project at work or begin writing. I have several quirks I don’t mind sharing and can easily be summed up by the acronym M.m.m.m.m.
Confused? Stay with me for just another minute, I promise, I will explain.
My quirks have been narrowed down to a “Top 5” list in order of priority:
5. Mantra (or Plan of Attack)
In order for me to be productive, I need a plan of attack, a clear idea of what has to be accomplished at that given time. I frequently separate tasks into manageable chunks to prevent becoming overwhelmed. This has been one of the most important things for me to remember as a new writer.
4. Mechanical pencils
Don’t laugh. That’s what I said, mechanical pencils. No matter where I may be working, I always carry one with me or have at least one resting on my workspace. These pencils have come in handy whenever an idea for a story appears. I just grab one, jot down the idea on whatever writing surface I can find, and then I don’t have the worry of it being permanent. I can just erase it and start again.
3. Mess-free workspace
This is a big one for me. When I get started on a project, I like my workspace to be neat and tidy. Now, that doesn’t mean it stays that way. I just need it to start that way.
Ah yes, food. These must-have munchies come in the form of so many different treats depending on my stress level and/or the craving. I usually alternate between a sweet and then a salty concoction, repeating the cycle over and over. I have been known to rip open a bag of chocolate bittersweet morsels or spoon out a few scoops of Nutella right from the jar when I’m in dire need of some real sustenance. Shocking? I know.
This is an absolute must regardless of what I’m working on at the time. I circulate between different types of music depending on my mood. Music is so important in my life and often it becomes a muse for me; the thoughts or emotions evoked when listening often become incorporated into the scenes I write.
So enough about me, I’m dying to hear about you. What are some of your quirks or must-haves when you work?