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7 Ways Blogging Can Help Organize And Improve Yourself

7 Ways Blogging Can Help Organize And Improve Yourself

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.

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

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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