The Martini Method

The Martini Method is named after an anecdote about the novelist Anthony Burgess (Clockwork Orange). 

Burgess was a very productive writer. He forced himself to write a 1000 words a day, 365 days a year. 

When he had completed his word count, he would relax with a dry martini and enjoy the rest of the day with an easy conscience. Normally in a bar. 

Burgess dismissed Clockwork Orange as one of his lesser works. His 600 page novel "Earthly Powers" was shortlisted for the 1980 Booker Prize. He died of lung cancer in 1993.  

The Martini Method splits up a large project into small chunks, and quantifies those chunks into specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals (what management books call a SMART objective).

Failing to break down large projects into sub-tasks usually leads to anxiety, and procrastination as a coping response. 

Procrastination is the greatest enemy of any creative act. And one of the most insidious is "Infinite Research Syndrome".

"The problem with web research is that it is a passive activity. You sit there and click like there’s no tomorrow. A world of facts, data and images scroll past your eyes and you accomplish nothing. The way to fight this is to disconnect yourself a little from the mesmerizing input. If you’re doing research on the internet make it an active process. Get a little primitive: make it a rule not to copy, paste or save files. You must take physical notes.This makes research an active process. Taking notes and using more muscle than your mouse-finger forces you to think about what you are reading and make judgments. Also write down other impressions or notions that come to mind as you do this, and very often you will be excited to get away from this to implement some great idea that suddenly comes to you."