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During my free time, I started to watch a video of Tim Harford, economist and writer. In this documentary, he discussed his three rules against productivity. These rules were for me the beginning of a love story.
Do not think I fell in love with him, because he is not. I just fell in love with her period; they changed my life better. Today, I would like to share with you these rules, with a concrete process to apply them to your blog. My wish is such that if you take the trouble to listen to what this article says, the rules and process will change your life too.
What you need
- A pen and a notebook or your journal (nevertheless, spreadsheets are better).
- Concentration on identifying things (see below)
- Honesty (very important).
The three rules of Tim Harford's blogger
1. Be prepared not to do enough
If you are in blogging for the long term, I can guarantee you that you will encounter hundreds, if not thousands of setbacks. Your dozens of articles will be waiting for comments, your analyzes will be of a constant flatness, even monotonous, and you will have the impression to make repetitions. The most important thing is to continue despite everything. In simple terms, be prepared for failure.
2. Strand on a survival ladder
This rule can mean two different things when you are a blogger. If you are still a beginner blogger, congratulations! You already have a defect on the survival scale. It's unlikely that a bad article will kill your blog, so you'd better appreciate the benefits of being a beginner.
On the other hand, if you are a popular blogger or simply known by a number of people, you will take a little more care of your site. I hope you will use your experience to the fullest, and at this point, you should already know what works and what does not work. If you are thinking of taking a risk, put it in your head so that you can fail so that you and your blog can survive.
3. Make sure you have what it takes to spot a failure, and eliminate it from the start
Do not let questions or problems fester. As soon as possible, identify something that needs to be corrected, and learn to correct your mistakes early. The sooner you respond to a crisis, the sooner you will be able to learn and deal with its potential repercussions.
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Also, be attentive to the issues raised by other bloggers, whether from your niche or elsewhere. Act quickly enough when a problem is reported by a reader. Do not go back to tomorrow because it may be too late when the time comes.
A process for counter productivity
1. Know your systems, behaviors and habits
As I said in the introduction, failures are very important; they are like revision triggers. They tell us that something needs to change, and that steps need to be taken. That said, you should never maximize the utility of a failure. On this subject, I recommend this excellent article: Blogger: Are you able to cope with criticism?
Instead of repelling failure or seeing it as inevitable, be at the forefront. Do you remember the notebook or spreadsheet? It's time to use it. For next week, connect to your failures. The relevant points are:
- The entry / exit time: useful to see how much time you spend on a task
- When you have a task: note when you are most productive
- The type of task: this can be writing, editing, formatting, searching, etc.
- The number of words: Just to see how many words you will reach
- Remarks: write down all the important details on a task
- Chess: try to judge your ability to do something necessary or not
For chess, you can put them in your journal, and record them in a text editor or something like that. Just take a note in your journal whenever you have not done something you were supposed to do. You will see why this is important in the 2 step of this process.
How can you keep motivation ? Make your life easier. As soon as you start your laptop, open your spreadsheet. Before starting a task, mark the start time, and do not forget to enter the end time when you are done.
There will be times when you forget things, and that's good. Do not feel guilty, but keep recording as much as you can.
2. Make sense of the data
After a week of observations (recording)you should have a fairly detailed spreadsheet with all the data points that matter to you. Now that you have enough information, it's time for you to move on to analysis and reflection. Here are some suggestions for questions to ask when reviewing the data:
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- How long does it take to write such number of words? This is useful for future estimates, as well as for your own management of time.
- How much time do I usually spend on e-mail and other online tasks? I can guarantee it, it will probably be a shock to you.
- How long does it take to do research? Again, it's useful for time management.
- What are the hours of the day when I am most productive? This can be a general answer, as " in the afternoon, "Or a specific answer like" 4: 30-17: 10 ».
Once you are done with these questions, you will probably have a reasonable overview of your actual behaviors and the limitations of your approach. What you discover is perhaps intuitively known to you, or it may surprise you completely. The important thing is that now you finally know the truth. Always keep it in mind.
When it comes to your initial failures, it's time to be honest with yourself. Find the real reasons why you failed. Nobody will see your newspaper anyway, so there is no reason to lie to you. What matters is that you will finally have a clear idea of your true excuses, strengths and weaknesses, which will be helpful in your improvement process.
You do not have to record everything and ask yourself questions if you are not ready to act on what you have just learned. Only practice allows information to be effective. It is therefore time for you to create an action plan that will take into account these 5 elements: Your limits - Your potential - The reality of your niche - The organization and your ultimate goal.
The last thing to do, of course, is to implement your action plan and then observe the results. See if you are less stressed, happier, or simply, if you get closer to your ultimate goal. Make sure to write down everything that's going on.
4. Keep your flaws
Tim's first rule is to be ready to face a lot of failures. What is inherent in this rule is the need to keep trying new things. Eh yes, you must take risks and be prepared to learn from them at the same time. You see, according to Tim, complex things often require such an approach. In the first place, the tests and the errors give you a very precise result for example, on what worked or not.
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And while this may sound pretty surprising, blogging is actually a complex thing. If you do not believe me, think of the number of variables that are in an equation. You have things like search engine optimization, article writing, the influence of social networks, the number of subscribers to the newsletter, heck, even the keywords in your field are a variable!
I recommend the short process below:
- Make a list of new actions or directions you will take. Example, you could include: "I will publish an infographic instead of a text article "And" I'll do a shorter section than usual ».
- During your reflection, do not let fear crush you. just write down all the ideas. Ideas should not be judged during the initial stages.
- Refine your list. Select the directions that are appropriate for your current situation.
- Apply your actions and observe the results. If you want to be able to evaluate things more effectively, look at the results.
Please do not hesitate to comment and share your thoughts. Do you ever do one of these things? Are you aware of learning about failure in a systematic way? Let us know in the comments.