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7 Ways Blogging Can Help Organize And Improve Yourself

7 Ways Blogging Can Help Organize And Improve Yourself
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Okay, perhaps you haven’t noticed this but there’s too much information out there these days. I mean check out something online, anything, let’s just say ‘juniper’ and the info jumps out at you – juniper berries, a juniper shrub, firewall, certification, and a park. All you wanted was a bush, really, and the best way to plant it. Now you’re confused. There MUST be an effective way to organize yourself, your ideas and your goals; that or end up as a tangled mess.

Once upon a time people were encouraged to write journals to keep their thoughts in order. Children were presented with leather bound diaries by hopeful parents. Every night little girls would take their baths and sit up in bed in curlers, sharpened pencils in hand ready to write ‘Dear Diary… my mother taught me how to crochet a scarf today.’ But you can’t do that now, I mean you can crochet a scarf if you’re so inclined and you’ll find out how to do it online, all fifty-seven ways. But you don’t write diaries any more. It’s too nerdish and we’re a bit more social now. These are, you know, the days of Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and stuff like that. Just this morning I heard, they’ve come up with a toothbrush that is linked to a smart phone. Really, I’m not making this up. After 2.5 minutes of solid brushing, the brush goes and tells on you to your dental hygienist about your dental decay. So no, you don’t write a diary any more, you blog and let as many people as possible know that you have cavities; because they’re going to find out anyway and a host of other reasons. Blogging is the modern dear diary, the way you organize and improve in today’s world. And this is how you do it.

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    Image credit: Lynda.com

    Decide.

    One fine morning you wake up and decide you want to do something… say you want to sell your grandmother. Think about it, make up your mind. Done? What do you do next?

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    Collect data.

    You get all the information you can on the subject. How old is she? Teeth all there? Knee/hip replacements? If she has titanium implants she’ll be worth more, and so on. As you find out this information you share it on your blog. How did you get it? Who did you speak to? Who else in the family is helping you sell her? Why do you hate your grandmother? You have an audience so share your information.

    Organize your data and your thoughts.

    You need to be very clear why you’re doing this, and how, and what you want at the end of the exercise. Writing it out will help. Write about the time you first realized how you felt. Write about how your feelings changed or did not change. Write about what you plan to do with the money. Keep your goals in sight. Keep your readers in the loop.

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    Improve yourself.

    There’s no point in doing things by halves. Catch yourself if you find yourself doing this. This is about self improvement. For example, you can’t sell your grandmother in several small installments. She may not last that long. It has to be fifty percent up front and fifty percent when the deal is signed. Be firm. Learn to control your emotions. Put this down, keep your audience informed.

    Track your progress.

    It’s a competitive market out there with other grandmothers for sale. You win some, you lose some, but you need to know either way. You blog it. You log it. You track it. Make sure your readers see that graph climb. And if the graph doesn’t grow, keep tabs on it as it goes down, and find out why it’s plunging. It’ll prevent you from making the same mistake twice. UN-fog yourself: Explain your thoughts to yourself and to your audience. Make it clear that you want to sell her, not keep her, lease her out, or loan her to a museum.

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    Know the market.

    Listen to what your readers say. Do they want her? Do they think your price is right? Should you offer two for the price of one?

    Blog.

    Keep a short, simple, informative, and interesting blog. Get an audience; keep your audience; and at the end of the day: hit your goals. ‘Bye Gran.

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    Featured photo credit: Creative Collaboration via cdn2.business2community.com

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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