ii. In a world filled with distraction, attention is our competitive advantage. Look at each day as a challenge - and an opportunity - to keep your eye on the prize.
a. The Power of Daily Focus Blocks, Sustained Focus on your most important tasks, Block and schedule time on your calendar, No distractions allowed, If distracted - start all over again, Turn off phone etc
c. Tackle a clearly identified and isolated task.
d. Consider using a different location for these blocks.
Make Progress Visible, Answering 100 emails can feel like progress but it is not, Make progress on your key tasks VISIBLE - even if that key task will take 1000 hours to complete, Diary?, Time Tracking?, Create short term, medium term, long term deadlines
Short-term reward bias, We make bad decisions, Because we can not overcome our short term reward bias in favor of long term payoffs
waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train
c. Self-Control, iii. Tasks done on autopilot don't use up our stockpile of energy like tasks that have to be consciously completed., Self control is very limited
Tell me to what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.
Take time to Disengage and truly be present
Preserve Unstructured Time, Explore, follow your whims, think big
Prioritize Being Present, ii. Create windows of non-stimulation in your day., iii. Listen to your gut as much as you listen to others.
"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say "no" to almost everything." - Warren Buffett
"You can do anything, but not everything." - David Allen
i. Post your complex, long-term goals by your workstation to keep the top of mind when prioritizing your tasks.
i. Practice letting go of certain e-mail and social media conversations. There will always be more opportunities than you actually can take on.
i. Distinguish between compulsive and conscious behaviors. Are you acting out of boredom or blind habit when you could be serving a higher goal?
i. Make a ritual of unplugging on a regular basis. Turning everything off is like hitting the "reset" button on your mind - it gives you a fresh start.
i. Don't trust technology over your own instincts and imagination. Doing busywork is easy; doing your best work is hard.
Lack of Routine
reactive rather than Proactive workflow
i. The biggest problem we face today is "reactionary workflow." We have started to live a life pecking away at the many inboxes around us, trying to stay afloat by responding and reacting to the latest thing: e-mails, text messages, tweets and so on.
ii. Take a rare pause from your incessant doing to rethink how you do what you do.
The difficulty of workaholism is that we undervalue our downtime
If we are workaholic, we also undervalue our work time, Because we are always ON
Downtime, When the brain starts sorting things out. Shuffling. Creating.
It may seem counterintuitive, but too big a playing field can muddle the results. We need constraints to be creative
Frank Lloyd Wright: "The human race built most nobly when limitations were greatest and, therefore, when most was required of imagination in order to build at all."
c. A set of limitations is often the catalyst that sets creativity free.
d. Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer." - William S. Burroughs
e. "The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing." - Eugene Delacroix
i. I have to carve out time and that time has to stay untouched no matter what.
we have to put the big stones in first; otherwise, the other stuff won't fit., the big stones are our big creative projects in this case
a. Stuck at the Start, i. The Creative Perfectionist Approach:, Waiting for ideal moment, Waiting for inspiration, Overthinking and overplanning, ii. The Creative Pragmatist Approach:, There is no ideal time, Just set aside time and do it, Do it - whether I feel like it or not
b. Lost in the Middle, i. The Creative Pragmatist Approach:, Budget the time, Weeks/days/hours, Plan the time
c. Refusal to Finish, i. The Creative Pragmatist Approach:, Finished doesnt mean it is PERFECT, Finished just means that it can be submitted
d. Dread of Feedback, i. The Creative Perfectionist Approach:, Negative feedback = Feeling of failure, ii. The Creative Pragmatist Approach:, I appreciate feedback because it helps me to test and refine my work.
e. A Final Note on Letting Go, Aim for less than perfect
f. "Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating." - John Cleese
Stage 1, BE able to sit down and work. For 1 hour
Stage 2, Repeat that hour every day
Stage 3, Go all the way from A to Z., Submit
i. A professional shows up every day.
j. A professional plays hurt.
k. A professional takes neither success nor failure personally.
l. "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work." - Chuck Close
Resistance, Prevents us from becoming our best selves
Getting our minds into regular rythm
Setting expectations about availability
You dont need to wait for inspiration, Create a system instead
Creative visionaries stick to daily routine
Ernest Hemmingway, Used to write 500 words a day, no matter what
Spend the best part of your day on your most important work, Creative Work 1st, Reactive Work 2nd, Better to disappoint a few people than to surrender your dreams, First thing in the morning, No email/voicemail/FB etc, Draw a line between the world's demands and your own ambitions
Block off large chunks of your time every day for your most important work, Turn off all distractions
b. Use creative triggers., i. Stick to the same tools, the same surroundings, even the same background music, so that they become associative triggers for you to enter your creative zone.
c. Establish hard edges in your day., Set Start and finish time for your work everyday, Hard edge between work and play and rest of life, Workaholism is NOT productive
v. Harnessing the Power of Frequency, We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, Daily Action beats Spasmodic Herculean Efforts, c. Frequency makes starting easier., Its hard to get started, Daily work keeps the momentum going, d. Frequency keeps ideas fresh., e. Frequency keeps the pressure off., ii. Because I write every day, no one day's work seems particularly important., f. Frequency sparks creativity., i. Creativity arises from a constant churn of ideas, and one of the easiest ways to encourage that fertile froth is to keep your mind engaged with your project. When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly., g. Frequency nurtures frequency., i. If you develop the habit of working frequently, it becomes much easier to sit down and get something done, h. Frequency makes progress visible, You see your steps ... daily, Very satisfying, What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while, Consistency of routines is key, j. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
Becoming a Pro, Have a practice, Regular, Reliable, Do it even when you dont feel like it, Specially when you dont feel like it, Its your work - not just a hobby, Dont wait for your moods. You must get to work
Renewal Rituals, Its not the load that breaks you down - its the way you carry it
Solitude time, Meditation