How to stay focused and organized

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How to stay focused and organized

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:58 pm

Here are some ideas for being more focused and productive when working on a project, whether it's a book, information product, or any other kind of project.

Turn off the TV

I never thought I'd do it. I kept thinking about it until I one day decided to turn it off. And now I have no idea what's going on in the news, and I don't know who won big brother or the X factor. I don't miss it. I don't care. If I'm going to live through other people (until I become successful) it may as well be people who I can aspire to be like. And those people aren't on tv.

Immerse yourself

Psychologically it's very useful to immerse yourself in the world of entrepreneurs because you feel like you're the real deal and you're going somewhere. If you don't have any friends who are doing anything like what you're doing, or they're not interested or don't understand, create your own network of colleagues even if you don't interact with them, i.e. listen to podcasts and watch videos and read books, and imagine that you know those people, like they're your new friends. They'll influence you.

If you really want a community of people that can help or advise you, who you can help and feel useful, why not create it yourself like I did with this forum. Yes, that's why I did it. I couldn't find a community that suits me, so here I am creating it myself from scratch. If you can't find the right house, build it.

Have a template to work from

Having a template or a system boosts your productivity because you only need to figure things out once, and then it applies to all future similar projects. And any tweaks that you make will make a difference to your next book or whatever. You won't have to remember something each and every time. Even simple, standard things can be overlooked.

It takes the thinking out of it, freeing your mind to get on with creating content, and all you have to do is organize it according to your template. And as you improve the template, it means all future products will be of higher and higher quality.

Work when you're at your best

Work only when you're feeling it, and don't feel too bad when you don't. Use a stopwatch to get an idea of how long it takes to do certain tasks, so you can plan ahead. Take it one day at a time. Treat each day like it's own little world, and make the most of it. Take the occasional (but guilt free) day off.

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Re: How to stay focused and organized

Post by Ghost on Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:47 pm

I passed the first step a long time ago. Pretty much the only times I watch TV are when I'm with someone (like family) and they are watching, or when I'm using it for language learning.

Immersing yourself is probably the most difficult. It's unlikely to have such a group in real life, so that leaves the internet. Not useless by any means, but not ideal.

I've got having a template covered because I've written a few books. I have a basic process I follow, and that makes a lot of difference. That does save a lot of time here and there.

The fourth thing is very difficult unless you happen to be one of those naturally motivated people. I watched a TED talk recently about motivation and chasing dreams, and one of the takeaway messages was that you will never feel like doing what it takes. You have to force yourself. Even though the speaker was a corporate bitch, she did have a good point there. That's not to say I don't have good days when I feel motivated all day - I love those days when I'm in "the zone" and can work on something all day and still feel great. I wish those happened much more often. Otherwise it's a matter of forcing myself, and even then that's hard to do for more than 2 or 3 hours or so.

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Re: How to stay focused and organized

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:13 pm

I always feel bad when I don't work. That's probably because I don't have a job, so if I don't work, I tend to laze about all day like I'm doing today. But on the other hand I have the flexibility to work when I want.

What kind of template do you have for your books? Is it a file that you use?

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Re: How to stay focused and organized

Post by Ghost on Fri Jul 31, 2015 4:15 pm

Admin wrote:I always feel bad when I don't work. That's probably because I don't have a job, so if I don't work, I tend to laze about all day like I'm doing today. But on the other hand I have the flexibility to work when I want.

What kind of template do you have for your books? Is it a file that you use?

It's more of a process, although since Kindle needs e-book files to be set up a certain way I guess I am technically using a template too. My process is simple, nothing special: collect a sufficient number of ideas, organize and make an outline and revise the outline, write and rewrite. Basic writer's process.

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