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2×4: An Interview with Ev Bogue

2×4: An Interview with Ev Bogue

    2×4: One series that examines two topics, creativity and productivity, by asking those who make things on the web the same four questions on both subjects.

    Right after submitting his answers, former 2×4 participant, CJ Chilvers joked that he wished he had gone the Steve Jobs route and given one word answers. Ironically, this was followed by my receiving exactly that (well at least for the first question) from today’s participant, Ev Bogue. Answers to subsequent questions were also nearly as short, sweet and to the point.

    I won’t lie to you…for an instant there, I was surprised. But then I realized that the exact nature of the answers is exactly why I asked Ev to participate.

    Ev is direct, clear and to the point. You can see that in his regularly email newsletter, you can see that in his posts on Google+. He’s also not a fan of the superfluous. He sheds the unnecessary even when it comes to things like a thriving blog and an active Tweet stream. Ev clearly puts as much, if not more time into choosing what he does as he does actually doing them. His words, as you will see below, are also as carefully chosen as his actions.

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    I could go on, but I doubt that would be in the spirit of today’s guest, so without further ado, here’s an inside look at Ev Bogue.

    Creativity

    Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

    Yes.

    What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate toward to realize your creative goals?

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    Right now I’ve been experimenting with writing for inboxes, and publishing to Google+.

    If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creations are you most proud of and why?

    I’m the most proud of working towards telling from experience this year. As a writer, this has strengthened how my work lands with my readers.

    Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist?

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    Show up every day. Be honest. Ask permission to contact people who are interested in your work.

    Productivity

    Can you describe your current personal and professional responsibilities?

    I write every single day to a group of readers who are interested in what I write.

    How do you go about balancing the personal, professional and digital?

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    I don’t balance anything. I’m 100% invested in my work as a writer online. I’ve tried to take time off, but I don’t know what to do with myself.

    What tools and techniques do you find yourself counting on to get through your workload?

    I write with an 11” Macbook Air. I write in Scrivener. I deliver my work via Mailchimp. I connect with my readers through Gmail and using Google+.

    What is the best starting point for the unproductive amongst us, who are looking to get more organized?

    Hit publish on the work you’re compelled to do every single day.

    More by this author

    2×4: An Interview with David Sparks 2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley 2×4: An Interview With CJ Chilvers 2X4 Interviews 2×4: An Interview With Gabe Weatherhead 2×4: An Interview With Brett Kelly

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    Last Updated on December 13, 2019

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

    Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

    Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

    Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

    1. Just Pick One Thing

    If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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    Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

    Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

    2. Plan Ahead

    To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

    Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

    Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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    3. Anticipate Problems

    There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

    4. Pick a Start Date

    You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

    Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

    5. Go for It

    On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

    Your commitment card will say something like:

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    • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
    • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
    • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
    • I meditate daily.

    6. Accept Failure

    If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

    If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

    Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

    7. Plan Rewards

    Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

    Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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    Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

    Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

    Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

    Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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