I’m currently working on a progress report for a collaboration that spans multiple projects and sub-projects. As usual I copied the final version of my last report to a new folder, then renamed it “DRAFT April 2012 report.doc” and started to update it, starting with the easiest sections. In the past I’ve kept track of which sections I’ve already updated by highlighting the entire copied document and removing the highlighting as I edit; this method is efficient, but somewhat hard on the eyes, as is any change of text colour that is obvious enough to detect immediately.
But today, I was hit by a stroke of genius: I changed the entire document into Comic Sans and am now gradually converting it back into my favoured Georgia 11 font, updated section by updated section.
This tactic not only reduces the eye strain caused by large blocks of highlighted or brightly coloured text, but also strongly motivates me – through the extreme ugliness of Comic Sans – to work as quickly and efficiently as possible. In fact, this motivation is strong enough to overcome the perfectionist “must get it right in the first draft” tendencies that usually slow me down.
Genius, I tells ya!