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Daily Writing Habit Overview & Plan : zen habits

Set Aside 5-10 Minutes

Setting your writing time during the morning is ideal as you haven’t gotten busy yet. But find what works for you and treat this appointment as unmissable.

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Daily Writing Habit Overview & Plan : zen habits

Daily Writing Habit Overview & Plan : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/daily-writing-habit/

zenhabits.net

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Key Ideas

Common Obstacles To Writing

  • You’re busy: separate 5-15 minutes to write, first thing in the morning, and stick to it.
  • You’re intimidated: The important thing is to start.
  • You’re not motivated: Commit to writing to an accountability group and report to them if you wrote or not.
  • You’re distracted: Close all programs but the writing one.
  • Nothing to write about: Spend some time during the day thinking of what to write. Exercise, going to bed, the shower, and your commute are good times to do this. 

Commit To Writing Every Day This Month

Make a public commitment, to people who will hold you accountable. You don’t need to publish your writing each day, but just write at least 5 minutes a day.

It can be any type of writing and it doesn’t have to be good, so let go of your desire for perfection.

Set Aside 5-10 Minutes

Setting your writing time during the morning is ideal as you haven’t gotten busy yet. But find what works for you and treat this appointment as unmissable.

Have a Trigger And Reminders

It’s best to set your writing time right after something else you regularly do each morning: wake up, shower, brush your teeth, etc. Try to set it before anything that might lead to further tasks or distractions, like email checking.

You can also set reminders, or write reminder notes for yourself, that will be seen when your trigger happens.

Think Of What To Write In Advance

Think about what you want to write during a workout, on a walk, in the shower, while you eat, on your commute, in a boring meeting. But definitely think about it before you go to sleep.

Just Focus On Starting Each Day

Turn off notifications and, if you’re not using pen and paper, close all programs but the one you’ll use to write. Preferably though it in the night before, so you aren’t distracted when the writing time comes the next day.

You don’t have to write for a full 5-10 minutes. Writing just a few words is all you need to be successful today, the volume will come later.

Report On Your Success

Report to your accountability group every day, whether you were successful or not. When you are unsuccessful, strongly commit to getting back on track the next day or even set up penalties or rewards for extra motivation.

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Set Accountability Metrics

Come up with trackable goals like a number of words or pages per day. The specificity is important because being able to measure it allows you to keep track of your progress and better change your behavior. 

Make It a Regular Practice

Keeping track of streaks is a very powerful tactic for developing any new habit. Knowing that you have consistently succeeded for a number of days helps you push through the days who are unmotivated.

Other ways to foster regularity: writing in a different style or genre, and doing your writing first thing in the morning.

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The biggest mistake is to journal only in reaction to something that is going on, instead of letting it be part of a system.

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Benefits of a journal
  • When you keep a journal, you can look back on important life events to read about how you felt at the time. You may also be able to learn from these past experiences.
  • Writing about traumatic events results in physical and psychological health benefits. Journaling focuses on understanding traumatic events and makes people see these events with an extra level of clarity.
Schedule journaling time

Start your daily journal off on the right foot by scheduling your writing for a set time every day.

  • If you find your mind is most active in the morning, wake up 15 to 20 minutes earlier and jot down your thoughts then.
  • If you prefer to record everything after the day is over, then make it an evening activity before you go to bed.

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Struggling To Build Healthy Habits
  • We tend to bite off more than we can chew, go too fast too soon, and then get overwhelmed too quickly.
  • We’re conditioned these days to expect and receive instant gratification.
Your “Big Why”

As you’re determining the habits or resolutions you’re trying to set, make the habit part of a bigger cause that’s worth the struggle.

You’re not just going to the gym, you’re building a new body that you’re not ashamed of so you can start dating again.

Healthy Habit Building 101

There are 3 parts to a good or bad habit: Cue (what triggers the action), Routine (the action itself), Reward (the positive result because of the action).

You have trained your brain to take a cue (you see a doughnut), anticipate a reward (a sugar high), and make the behavior automatic (nom that donut). 

Compare that to a cue (you see your running shoes), anticipate a reward (a runner’s high), and make the behavior automatic (go for a run!).

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