JOURNALING · Organize Self and Home · Productivity

Templates Create Efficiency in Your Journal’s To-Do List

If your journal also houses your to-do list, then efficiency in creating those lists is necessary to get the job done.

One of the biggest culprits of to-do list failure, of not achieving the goal, is the tedium of having to write and rewrite your list on tasks to complete on a regular basis. Delay writing burnout by creating templates.

If you know that you will create a to-do list every day or every week in your journal, it might be a good idea to type a list template that you can print and affix to your paper journal.e.g. If you have a weekly to-do list for the foreseeable future that has as its focus Housing goals, Blogging goals, and Financial goals, then type those headings in a simple table, leaving blanks for you to write in the specific goal each week.

If you are using a digital journal for your list, create a to-do list template that you can copy and paste every day or every week.

Continue tweaking your journal and your lists until it fits your life. Pay attention to what fatigues you about your writing and what brings you  a sense of well-being.

And remember that what worked for you in a different phase of life might need to be tweaked for your current phase of life.

Peace,

Deborah

 

BLOGGING · Brain Drops · Productivity · Vlogging

Roberto Blake on Being Prolific and Why Steve Jobs Should Have Been a Vlogger

One of my inspirations for publishing a blog post 6 days per week is Roberto Blake -a daily vlogger and graphic designer who discusses entrepreneurship regularly. His Medium post on Your First 1000 Pieces of Content (Read it by clicking here. ), discusses how to become an influencer through being prolific.  I have a long way to go before this website and its adjacent platforms has 1000 pieces of content. However, enjoying the journey is half the fun.

Also of interest is this video where Blake says he wishes Steve Jobs had been a daily vlogger. His argument is that we could then study his early moments closely as Jobs struggled to create Apple Computers and revolutionize accessible communication. The idea, I suppose, is to inspire the rest of us to tell our story , document our journey, because this information can be useful to other people.

You and I have talked about this recently, about how your stories can be a gift to the world (click here to read it). You don’t have to be the founder of a legendary company like Jobs, to be useful.

Blake goes on to say that quantity (being prolific) can produce quality eventually. Practice helps. I would add, that quantity can produce quality if you are paying attention to results and tweaking to make a better outcome as you go along.

What do you think about quantity producing quality eventually? And do you think Steve Jobs should have been a daily vlogger? That’s debatable. I think some of his legend is partly because he was enigmatic.

Sincerely,

Deborah

P.S. We’ve already discussed how Seth Godin – another person known for daily creations -creates his blog posts every day. Click here to read that explanation.

P.P.S. Out of all the people that I would have loved to have seen with a Youtube channel, it’s Orson Welles. He was always frustrated about the expense of films and the fact that you needed, as he said, an army of people to get the job done. The director of Citizen Kane could have elevated the craft of internet videos with his experience and imagination.

BLOGGING · Motivation · Productivity

David Bowie on an Artist’s Popularity

There is an illustrated interview series on Youtube called Blank on Blank. One of the interviews I’ve recently run across is of rock star David Bowie on the subject of popularity and your own artistry.  What he says might apply to writers/bloggers, as well.

“An audience appreciation is only going to be periodic at the best of times. You fall in and out of favor continually. I don’t think it should be something one should be looking for. I think you should turn around at the end of the day and say, ‘I really like that piece of work,’ or ‘That piece of work [is terrible].’ Not, ‘Was that popular or wasn’t that popular?'”

This goes back to what we’ve said before about social media likes and what to do if you experience anxiety over becoming less popular in your art, or when someone unsubscribes from your blog.

The idea is to have a sense of purpose beyond being liked, and that’s what Bowie seems to say here. Making the best work you can should be enough; the rest is gravy.

Peace,

Deborah

Motivation · PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT · Productivity

Not a Morning Person? This might help.

When you are told during childhood that you are a night owl, not a morning person – that you are more energized at night then during the day- for the longest time you stick to that identity like a gnat on an overripe peach. It also means that you have difficulty waking up for school without being grumpy.

Doomed. I thought I was doomed to dislike mornings forever. Then, as a teen, I stumbled upon a solution. I set the alarm to sound -not the default buzz- but one of my favorite albums- The Best of Tchaikovsky. When you hear the cannons of the “1812 Overture,” you do not remain asleep. It was fun.

Later in life,  I found the same problem occurred, only this time I did not want to go to work. I would go anyway, of course, and do an excellent job. However,  I realized the issue all this time had not been mornings, but with forcing myself to live a life that I did not want. With this newer situation, as in my teens, mornings became easier when I would do this one thing – front load my favorite things to do.

I know we are supposed to reward ourselves only after a job well done, if at all. I know we are supposed to reserve dessert for last. (That’s what we are told.)

Well, to get myself up and excited to be alive, I would eat mental dessert first. I would wake up and conduct my morning rituals, work on only the things that were important to me. This might mean getting up super early, but when you are getting up to work on your own projects, life is great; it’s not such a problem.

You are awakening to do things that you like. Then, through the course of a day,  you make your way to the job. Then, you go home and, again participate in what you like. The job you may or may not like is sandwiched between a life that fits you.

Then, you gradually make plans to reduce that middle part – the part that doesn’t fit your life.

Today, the title of night owl does not seem to fit any more, nor do I wish to replace it with another label. It is more accurate to say this: I do as I please when awake.  I am far less interested in the circadian rhythm label.

How about you? How have you weathered the mornings if you do not like them?

Peace Be With you,

Deborah

 

Business Mentors · Family

A Custom-Tailored Life Restructures the Family Tree?

One December, I spent Christmas with family. I thought nothing of business and I stopping journal writing long enough to be in the moment, for once. I’m glad that I was, because I was attuned to an undergrad relative who clearly wanted to ask career questions.

I asked him, “Tossing aside the idea of what you are ‘supposed’ to do, what would you like your life to look like?” His answer had nothing to do with the major he was pursuing and had nothing to do with what would impress the folks. He smiled as if he had said something naughty.

His ideas were like a little seed; I gave him some tips on what to do to grow that seed once he returns to school after the holidays. His ideas were nebulous; I gave him ideas to clarify and structure his goals so that he can pursue his interests while also making money. He took notes.

Suddenly, I felt as if I were restructuring my family tree and, frankly, to give my ideas such importance is frightening. (You and I have discussed fear in goal setting before and how to deal with it. See “Prepare for Fear.”)

This conversation was a jolt for me. I realized that to succeed in creating a custom-tailored life is not just for me, it is also for others in my social sphere to understand their possibilities.

What a weighty responsibility.

Sincerely,

Deborah

Overcoming Obstacles · Productivity

On Making Progress

The goal here is usually to write three times per week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – for about a year, then scale back to once per week. I missed Wednesday due to pure fear. I have ideas, lists of things to talk about,  an editorial calendar, but nothing sparked my interest.

A problem with an editorial calendar is that when you make the calendar, you are interested in writing about that topic. When the day comes to write it, you are no longer interested. Does that ever happen to you?

Is the inner Scanner/Hummingbird/Multi-Potentialite sabotaging me again with her waning interest in a project? That’s a frightening thought.

Then worry sets in about reaching the goals, whether my system of organization is the right one, whether the articles are perfect enough. It’s a mess.

Nina Amir’s article on perfectionism spurred me on today. Mrs. Amir says to concentrate on making progress more than on making perfection. The author gives us a four-step program for that.  Head on over to her website to read the article titled “Make Progress, Not Perfection.”

Learning to wade through the mediocre or troubling parts of your project is always tough.  Sometimes you forget that your blog is necessary. To get through this, I find inspiration in the thoughts of other people who understand the struggle – whether a blog (like that of Mrs. Amir), or a book, or a close friend; they spur me on,  despite the problems.

Who or what spurs YOU on?

 

Sincerely,

Deborah

Brand Tips · BUSINESS

1 Business Tip to Stand Out from the Crowd

Remain distinct from your competitors by creating the shortest distance possible between the client’s problem and the solution you offer. This is how your company remains remarkable even with stiff competition.
The greater number of steps between the customer or client and her end goal, the greater risk of error or confusion. This often leads to customer frustration and possibly not completing the sale.
Here’s an example from this year.

Continue reading “1 Business Tip to Stand Out from the Crowd”

Brand Tips · BUSINESS

Dignity. Always, Dignity.

When dealing with anyone in any situation, look for the dignity of each person concerned. Preserve everyone’s dignity even if the other person does not seem interested in the same goal.

Yes, there might be an irate customer or a disgruntled employee and they are irritating you. Perhaps you wish to be respected first. Put those ideas on the back burner for something more important.

Your business must become known for respecting the people it encounters, whether client, customer or employee. In the long run, presenting consistently positive  and respectful encounters will draw more customers and more hard-working and loyal employees. In addition, you are upholding the value of human life.

 

Brand Tips · Stress Relief

How to Conquer Your Anxiety When Someone Un-Subscribes

When someone unsubscribes from your blog, stops following you on Twitter or un-“likes” your page on Facebook, what is your response?

Some think nothing of it and move on with their lives. Some treat themselves to a reward to soothe the rejection. Some panic – as I did, recently- and ask  business mentors what to do with this useless anxiety.

Anxiety Over Social Media “Likes” is Linked to a Weak Sense of Purpose

Continue reading “How to Conquer Your Anxiety When Someone Un-Subscribes”

Business Mentors

10 Full-Time Bloggers You Should Know

Here, in alphabetical order by surname, are great bloggers whose expertise in their craft are useful to entrepreneurs, bloggers and other online creatives.  They each have garnered a full-time income from writing online. They are each generous to their readers. Read the squibs below about their work, then explore their worlds. Get a sense of how they interact with their audience and what stands out to you. What do you like about what they do? What would not work for your brand? Why?

Enjoy!

Continue reading “10 Full-Time Bloggers You Should Know”

BUSINESS · SEO

Is Your Website or Blog Mobile-Friendly?

Google.com has become synonymous with searching online; it is even used as a verb. (“What’s the name of that guy in that film? Never mind. I’ll Google it.”) When this giant of information makes major changes in its search engine algorithms, people pay attention and adjust accordingly.

In response to the increasing number of online searches on mobile devices, Google began to return search results for mobile-friendly websites first.

Continue reading “Is Your Website or Blog Mobile-Friendly?”

Goal Setting · Productivity

When to Stop Researching If You Are On a Deadline

One useful thing to learn in research is when to stop.

In this era of unprecedented information access, where the acronym TMI (Too Much Information) is used to ask someone to stop sharing, it’s great to know when to push away the plate of info and say, “Thank you; I’ve had enough.” Continue reading “When to Stop Researching If You Are On a Deadline”

BUSINESS · Goal Setting in Business · Productivity

How to Delegate Without Losing Control of Your Goals

An entrepreneur can be a great visionary who takes on far too many tasks to be effective. Today, we look at three steps to help you release your tasks to others while still remaining in control of your goals.

Sometimes a dysfunctional team has disappointed an entrepreneur over and over. He or she develops  a subconscious habit of not trusting someone else with major responsibilities. This habit can hinder progress. Here is what you do instead. Continue reading “How to Delegate Without Losing Control of Your Goals”