:25 Minutes of Personal Writing Every Evening | Skillshare Projects

:25 Minutes of Personal Writing Every Evening

My sister called. Her co-worker died suddenly yesterday. Heart attack. At her desk.


To be frank, until today I was following this class rather casually. Yes, I'm interested in habits. Yes, I am aware that to reach my goals I need to construct supportive behavior. But...

Damn! Dropping dead, at your desk!

I have a great job (two, actually, as I also co-own a brick-and-mortar business). Both keep me very busy. My "day" job involves a lot of writing. This is wonderful, except...

I often use this as an excuse not to work on my personal writing projects. I literally have a running list of hundreds of ideas to incorporate into various projects. (Thanks, Workflowy!) 

So why, if putting these ideas into writing is SO IMPORTANT that I want to DO IT BEFORE I DIE, why haven't I carved out the habit(s) necessary to do so?

That is the question that kept me up last night.

That and: what was she wearing? Did she have any idea she was ill? God, it would be my luck to wear something awful to the office that day if the same thing happened to me...

Earlier, Tiago, you asked, "what is a habit you've successfully incorporated?". The first that came to mind was created as a kid: brushing my teeth before bed. I don't even think about it now. It is automatic.

Recently, I incoporated a new habit of 100 sit-ups/day, 5 days a week. Here's how I did that, and how I think it connects to creating this new writing habit:

  1. Trigger: There is a specific time window in my tasks for a break. It's when I have the office to myself.

  2. Behavior: I turn to my favorite podcast (which runs about 15 minutes). I chunk up the sit-ups into 4 groups of 25. These small milestones make it easy. 

  3. Reward: Two, actually. I enjoy the podcast while doing the sit-ups. I also like checking off the box as "DONE!" in Lyft.

So... thinking more about my schedule, I think I can achieve this personal writing habit as follows. First, I need to take a mental break from work, so, it must be after a brief workout, but before bed. (I've tried early morning, but, NO.) I can sacrifice my tv time.

  1. Trigger: End of workout, after logging that. (I get a LOT of mileage from logging things, as I've discovered this year.)

  2. Behavior: Set Pomodora timer app for 25 minutes. This is a habit I use for work writing to keep me focused. If I go beyond 25 minutes, awesome. But at least 25.

  3. Reward: Guess I need to set a new Lyft goal I can check off! 

------------------- UPDATE, 11/18/14 -------------------

Here is my completed Habit Loop (version 1)

------------------- UPDATE, 2/23/15 ------------------- 

Made further adjustments to this habit loop.

Happy to report I've completed and published my first ebook, Per-Money: Permaculture Principles for Indie Biz Growth.

Thanks, Tiago Forte! 


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