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How Writing for One Hour a Day Can Improve The Quality of Your Life

Increment progress matters

We tend to underestimate incremental progress. Successful people have a willingness to set micro goals and focus on the process instead of the end goal. It is natural for many to miss this as they cannot see the immediate progress.

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How Writing for One Hour a Day Can Improve The Quality of Your Life

How Writing for One Hour a Day Can Improve The Quality of Your Life

https://medium.com/the-mission/how-writing-for-one-hour-a-day-can-improve-the-quality-of-your-life-7b526147cd67

medium.com

7

Key Ideas

One hour of writing

Writing for an hour a day can improve your personal and professional life.

A lot can be accomplished by a focused hour of creation time, in which you are not disturbed. Deep creativity tasks, when done just a little daily, can become a lot in a year.

Increment progress matters

We tend to underestimate incremental progress. Successful people have a willingness to set micro goals and focus on the process instead of the end goal. It is natural for many to miss this as they cannot see the immediate progress.

Writing helps mental health

Writing daily can help in improving our mental health.

  • It lowers anxiety
  • It makes us feel present for that time
  • A good habit that we enjoy makes us look forward to it
  • It heals our painful experiences by making us see them objectively.

Timing and easing in

To start writing an hour a day: Figure out which part of the day you are doing unessential or no work.

Then, instead of starting with the notion that you will write for an hour, just focus on the fact that you will sit, open a notepad or your laptop, and will write.

Tips to keep writing

Create the right, distraction-free conditions to help you keep writing.

  • If you plan to write in the morning, make the arrangements, like the pen/notepad and sitting place the night before.
  • Use a simple writing software if you are on your laptop, removing clutter so that you only focus on your writing.

Keep the phone away

The smartphone is the biggest culprit towards your constant distraction.

Leave your smartphone in some other room for an hour to focus on your writing.

Use headphones to remove noise

Keep the noise out by using noise cancellation headphones, if possible.

You can also put soothing instrumental or beats oriented music that doesn't distract you but keeps out the noise.

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Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.

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Rethinking the 8-hour workday
Rethinking the 8-hour workday

Knowledge workers aren't factory workers. There is no direct correlation between how much time they spend on the job and their output.

For knowledge workers, the 8-hour workday doesn’t make s...

Quality vs Quantity of Time

The structure of most working environments punishes people for efficiency and rewards them for looking busy. We need to shift our focus from the number of hours spent on something to the quality generated.

Build the Right Environment

To make a 3-hour workday feasible, design the right environment to make it possible.

  • Behavior is the result of environment. If you have many apps open, you’ll be more likely to be distracted.
  • Eliminate the need for willpower. Think of willpower like a bank balance. For every decision you make, you spend a unit. Design the right environment, so you avoid depleting all of your willpower.

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Benefits of a daily writing habit
Benefits of a daily writing habit
  • Better self-discipline
  • Improving persuasion skills
  • Cultivating self-awareness
  • Better decision ma...
Writing as self-discipline

The reason why we don’t do anything useful with our time is that we lack self-discipline.

But when you write every day, you strengthen your discipline. And you can transfer that better self-discipline to achieve anything in life.

Writing cultivates self-awareness

Nothing will help you to get to know yourself more than translating your thoughts into words.

When you force yourself to write every day, you automatically become more aware of your thoughts. And self-awareness is one of the most important skills that predict career success.

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The value of solid writing skills
  • Being a good writer helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • Repeated writing mistakes affect your reputation and credibility in the future.
  • Your writing is ...
Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut

"Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing.

The “5 Ws + H” method

... for establishing what and how you will write:

  • Who: Who is my audience?
  • What: What do they need to know?
  • When: When does this apply, when did this happen, or when do they need to know it by?
  • Where: Where is this happening?
  • Why: Why do they need this information?
  • How: How should they use this information?

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The Compounding Effect of Habits
The progress we experience from the compounding effect of any habit isn’t immediately visible. As a result, people give up quickly

They don’t realize that every day they show up the...

Consistency matters more than frequency

We usually make effort unsustainable. For example:

  • We work out like crazy for a few days (usually at the beginning of the year) and never go back to the gym.
  • We try to meditate for 30 mins one day and don’t give it another shot until 10 days later

But when it comes to developing and maintaining a new habit, frequency matters more than intensity.

Identity-based Habits
To build the identity of the person you want to become, ask yourself what the behavior of a person who has the habit you want to develop is. For example:
  • What is the behavior a person who is in shape? They go to the gym consistently
  • What is the behavior of a prolific writer? They crack open a notebook every day.

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The 5-Hour Rule
The 5-Hour Rule

The most successful, busy people in the world dedicate at least 5 hours a week to deliberate learning.

The 5-Hour Rule is the most critical practice we can all adopt for long-term career suc...

The Simple Math 

It takes about 6,400 hours of class time and studying to get a 4-year degree. Assume that it takes you only 5,000 hours to master your field.

While you are happy that you've prepared for your profession, the knowledge you've learned is fast becoming outdated. We can safely assume that in 10 years, 50% of the facts in the field would be outdated. This means that for you, just to keep up in your current field, you'd need to learn 5 hours per week, 50 weeks a year.

Trends To Consider

When we consider the future of work, there are two trends we should keep a note of. They are:

  1. Half-life of knowledge
  2. Law of increasing learning

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The power of consistency

... is profound and underrated. Little things done repeatedly lead to big changes in our lives.

If you can learn to do something consistently, you'll believe that you’re completel...

Inconsistency and confidence

Doing a little consistently is always going to be more effective than doing a lot but inconsistently.

Inconsistency will most likely kill your confidence and your ability to succeed in a creative career or any creative endeavor.

Consistency creates momentum

Momentum is based on the idea that an object in motion stays in motion.

  • It’s more effective to write 200 words every day than it is to write 1000 words once a week
  • We’re better off practicing an instrument for 15 minutes every day than we are an hour once a week.

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Warren Buffett
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can..."
Warren Buffett
Learning constantly

To get better results in life you need to learn constantly. And the best way to learn is to read effectively and a lot.

Upgrading your brain

A new idea, outlook on life, mental model, is all it takes for something to click inside your brain.

Your brain will start making connections between books that seemed to be on different topics. The more you read, the more links you form and the richer your understanding becomes.

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Almost all writing is influenced by other people’s work

Even if some writers avoid reading when they’re writing a book because they’re afraid of being influenced by other people’s work, finding your unique voice is most times the result of borro...