- Books, Literature, and Writing
1. Remove Toxic People
One of the reasons why you may find it difficult to concentrate is because of the negative people in your life.
You know, the ones that tell you that you can't or shouldn't do what you are doing. They are overly critical of your actions and some even make it their mission to prevent you from accomplishing tasks.
They condescendingly scoff at what you do until the day you become a well-known success. Then they are suddenly slapping you on the back, saying they knew you could do it!
These people either: a. want to do what you're doing, but can't, OR b. are annoyed about losing the ability to mold you temporarily or permanently into whatever they need at any given moment.
Stop hanging on to these people. If you don't figure out a path for yourself, they will create one for you. You will spend moments--maybe hours or days thinking of their stupidity, or trying to make sense of a person who's not trying to be understood. And then you may or may not be able to bring your life to the success level you want.
Gather acquaintances that are smart and positive. You'll find them full of energy, smiling or laughing. Even their Facebook posts are energetic and motivated.
You don't have to completely cut negative people off, especially if they are family. Rather, just distance yourself. Distance your physical and mental self away from these people. Set your Facebook news feed to hide negative friends, without completely unfriending them.
Fast Track to Motivation
1. Lose toxic "naysayers"
2. Spend more time with positive successful people
3. Ditch the negative media inputs
4. Get motivational audio books and podcasts
2. Cut Negative Media
Media such as songs, television, and movies can also be toxic and overbearing to the mind. If you have a problem getting started everyday, is it because you are constantly pressing yourself down into a hole with your favorite wallow songs? Check out the following Depeche Mode song:
"I was born with the wrong sign
In the wrong house
With the wrong ascendancy
I took the wrong road
That led to the wrong tendencies"
~"Wrong", by Depeche Mode, written by Martin Gore
Its an awesome song, but what does it do for motivation? Even love songs may get you in a sedative mood, making it difficult to find a border between you and the song. We often look for common ground in songs or a way to connect with the artist.
Choosing to play a song like "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce Knowles will undoubtedly send you sinking into a bitterness about your about your own life or past. "Irreplaceable", also known as "To The Left":
"Standing in the front yard telling me
How I'm such a fool, talking about
How I'll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted"
~"Irreplaceable", by Beyoncé Knowles, written by Shaffer Smith, Amund Bjørklund, Mikkel Eriksen
These are great songs, but it doesn't serve a purpose for getting your work done. If the sound of silence bothers you, choose positive songs, or better yet, put a motivational podcast or audio book on in the car.
Television can also be a deterrent to work. Not only because we watch so much of it, but because we watch ridiculous reality stars and negative programs like "the news". Streaming criminals and controversial people into your living room daily will do nothing for your motivation. Do you want to be the one that just finished writing their latest book, or the one who knows current Kardashian conflicts?
If you have to watch something, play an inspirational or funny movie one or two times per week.
3. Set Goals
Each night, list the following day's objectives. This will help set a clear picture in mind and won't leave you wandering too far off course. Write the list on a real piece of paper, with a pen. Place the paper nearby your bed so you can see it first thing in the morning.
Using your smart phone to make to-do lists generally works only up until the moment you check the list. Do you ever find yourself going to check your to-do list, and end up enthralled in Facebook or some other app on your phone? Or maybe you start texting a friend, divulging your best sentences on to your cell phone. Save your creativity for your articles. Nobody's handing out awards for best texts and Tweets.
4. Set a Regular Writing Schedule
Set an incremental work goal for yourself each day and begin working towards it around the same time each day. Do not wait for the day or time when you feel like writing. That day may never come. That is how you never get around to writing that book.
Set a writing schedule for yourself and do not leave it up to chance. If you set a writing time for yourself everyday, you'll never have to think or wonder when, where, and how you are going to write. You will only focus on what you are going to write. If you have a family, write down those goals as well--like what you will make for dinner, or what ride needs to be given to whom. If you have another job, factor that into your to-do list as well. This way, everything is factored in to your writing day.
Begin with a task of writing one 1000-word article per day. Think of it like training the mind. Then, as you build a steady-paced routine, you will find it getting easier to come up with ideas, titles, and good content.
Here's What to Do
- Make a To-Do List the Night Before
- Set Regular Daily Writing Time and Stick To It
- Use Egg Timer to Help Focus
5. Work in Fifteen-Minute Increments
Some of us have a ADD diagnosis from the doctor. But what's wrong with the rest of us?
If you find it hard to focus, Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Workweek suggests you try working in fifteen-minute increments. Go to http://e.ggtimer.com/ to get a timer which you can set to count down minutes from fifteen. This will help you to:
- Get quality work done. Many people claim to work 8 hours, but very little of the 8 is spent actually working. By setting up timed increments, you will know exactly how much time you spent working for the day.
- Be much more capable of turning out quality work because you know you are being timed. This will slow any romanticizing about being a writer and will light a candle under your butt to write.
Like everything else, the fifteen-minute-trick will become habit and soon you won't even need the timer. But use it until that day comes. You may find that you still need to bring it out occasionally if you catch yourself daydreaming.
Be sure to use the egg timer on the computer or an actual egg timer. Avoid using your phone stopwatch or some other phone app. You don't need any more reasons to look at your phone than you already have. Your phone should be on silent and face down on the desk during each increment. Reward yourself at the end of each increment by checking your phone or getting a snack and/or beverage.
Once you train your body and mind to focus for fifteen minutes at a time, you may find yourself truly immersed into your writing--so much that you set the timer again without a care in the world for your phone. It is at that moment that you will silence any doubt about whether you possess passion to write.
When Do You Write?
6. Recall the Feeling of Success
Think of the incredible feeling you have when you are laying in your bed and you are recounting the day's events.
The feeling of success comes as you think about one single day--today. Most people measure success by the actions of today. Its hard to get excited about a successful day you had last month. We beat ourselves up over the day we had today. Or we quietly smile inside about what we accomplished today.
Think about this laying-in-bed-moment a few times during the course of the day. Are you doing things that matter and completing tasks that will make you feel successful at the end of the day?
What is a successful writing day for you and how do you make it happen? Please comment below. Thanks for reading. Cheers to your success!