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The Productivity Strategy for Writing I Guarantee You WON’T Try

The Productivity Strategy for Writing I Guarantee You WON’T Try


    With a bold headline like that, you might think it would be easy to “cop out” and give you a ridiculous strategy that would be stupid to try. Instead, I’m going to give you a strategy will do three things to your writing:

    1. It will make it part of the top 1% of the best writing online
    2. It will make people sit up and listen to you
    3. It will generate more action than any other writing you’ve done

    What’s this fancy new secret, you ask? 

    Here it is: write everything at least three times.

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    I can almost hear the groaning and complaining. You thought I was going to hand you a “magic bullet” of blogging and productivity strategy; one that will immediately–and without an once of real work–shoot your efforts to the moon.

    You might wonder how super-producers like Danny Iny can craft such compelling, thorough content, literally churning it out at inhuman speeds. Chances are he’s gotten to that point by practicing: literally writing, rewriting, and rewriting some more.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic bullet. However, this strategy does need to be examined just a bit more.

    First, let me give you the “three-step” process I’m talking about:

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    1. Write. As in “free-writing.” Unhindered, brainstorming-like, free-flowing thought. No editing allowed.
    2. Write again. This time around, work on taking out words like “very,” “really,” and many instances of the words “that” and “so.” Chop 10% off of the total word count.
    3. Write one more time. Think your work’s ready to be sent out the door? Think again. I rewrote my first novel about four times, and that was easy–it was all made-up. If you’re writing a blog post, article, or anything worthy of anyone else’s eyes, give them the benefit of your best work.

    You may not like the idea of writing everything thrice (I knew I’d use the word thrice some day in a blog post!), but let me assure you:

    Your writing will improve drastically, and quickly. 

    And that is the secret of this technique: While the initial process is time-intensive, counter-productive, and sometimes downright hard, you’ll notice that the more you implement these steps, the quicker your writing will improve.

    Eventually, you won’t need to follow the formula every time. The words will flow, your thoughts will magically orient themselves into an organized stream of outline-worthy notes, and the overall feel of your style and clarity will shine through.

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    Until then, though, give us all the benefit of working through your copy at least three times before you publish it!

    One final strategy.

    Lastly, if it’s really bothering you to chop up your content that many times, “trick” yourself into it by using this writing/productivity method:

    • Write first in a minimalistic editor, like OmmWriter, or Byword.
    • Then, copy/paste the text into a second editor–something like Evernote–that lets you add in links and additional notes.
    • Finally, paste the content into a “real” text editor, like Microsoft Word or Pages, for final editing/publishing.

    I know most of you won’t try this–that’s why I wrote a headline like that. Many people will continue pushing “Submit” on half-finished content, eventually burning out from a lack of an audience. But to me, that’s good news.

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    The fewer people there are truly striving for the best writing they can produce, the less competition there is for guys like me!

    (Photo credit: Fountain Pen and Notebook via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

    Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

    Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

    Conflicts are literally everywhere.

    Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

    Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

    Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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    Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

    Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

    Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

    The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

    Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

    Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

    How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

    Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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    Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

    Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

    How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

    Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

    Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

    Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

    How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

    Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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    Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

    Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

    How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

    Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

    Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

    Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

    How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

    Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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    Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

    Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

    How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

    Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

    Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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