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How to Develop a Daily Writing Habit

How to Develop a Daily Writing Habit

Writing is one of the most difficult, most underrated activities that people all across the world covet. Some people write as a profession while others write because it is required of them in their schooling or career. There are even some people who write just for fun. But no matter what your reason for writing may be, developing a daily writing habit can be extremely beneficial to different areas of your life.

Usefulness

The best reason to develop writing as a daily habit is because it’s a great skill to have. Being able to coherently get your thoughts onto paper in an interesting and engaging manner is no small feat. Just ask Shakespeare. It takes a lot of practice and a ton of hard work. But once you get the hang of it, you start to see how it helps you communicate with others in an effective way.

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Here’s a few easy steps to start:

  1. Get a blank notebook. It doesn’t matter what kind. It can be a college-ruled pad or a leather bound notebook that is designed specifically for writing. The only thing that matters is whether or not there is paper for you to write on.
  2. Get a pen or pencil. It doesn’t matter what kind. Whatever you prefer. (I use a pen so that I can’t erase what I write.)
  3. Write.

It’s as simple as that. The only way to get better is to write, write, and write.

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Sense of Self

When you write daily, you develop a bigger sense of self. Even when you’re not writing about yourself, you learn about how you perceive things or what your outlook is on certain subjects. For example, you could be writing about a thought or a dream that you had, in which case, you’d learn how you take it all in and extract your feelings from it. Or you could write about World War II and learn about how you feel like those events impacted humankind since. It’s all really fascinating, to learn about yourself. After a couple of months of writing daily, you can go back and see how you were when you started. Seeing yourself grow is a fruitful experience.

It might be a good strategy to brainstorm a few ideas that you enjoy writing about first before you start writing about things that you don’t enjoy. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to start to cultivate your way through your own skills. Another good route to take would be to look up creative writing blogs or head over to google and search subjects that you are passionate about.

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Critical Thinking

Another great reason why writing daily is beneficial is because it helps you do your job better, even if your job doesn’t call for you to write. You develop critical thinking skills that you learn through your writing and it helps you become a better talker, thinker, and doer. You also have more of a reason to want to do your job at a higher level. Once you begin to write your thoughts and feelings down, you feel compelled to write about them again the next day.

Your point of action: find out a way to write every single day about the things that you feel strongly about. It can be political, it can be personal, it can be about the economy, etc. Whatever it is, challenge yourself to have an open mind throughout the whole process. It’ll help you grow as a person. Who knows, you may even learn a lot about yourself that you never really explored prior.

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Language

The last reason that I have for you is that writing forces you to learn about the English language, whether you want to or not. You’re going to learn more words on your journey, whether it’s indirectly through contextual examples or directly from a dictionary. You start to build a tool belt of your best words, ideas, and phrases that you can use at any time. This gives you more of a chance to make a real difference with your words, not only on paper but orally as well.

A good thing to start off with would be a dictionary (which you can conveniently find an app for if need be). You can read a couple of pages of words a day if you want to or you can read a book and write down all of the words that you don’t truly know the definition of. This will help with your awareness and ability to find words that push you to do better with your writing.

Write

The number one piece of advice that professional writers will give to you is this: write. Do it every single day. In a month’s time, you’ll start to see where you are as a writer and where you’ll want to improve.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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