Friday, February 16, 2007

 

Discipline

A new friend emailed me the other day, asking where I find time to blog on a consistent basis, and where I find time to read about and research the stuff I blog about.

I'd have to say the answer comes down to habit and discipline.

Like anything you want to make a priority in your life (from working out, to brushing your teeth, to mowing the lawn on Saturday mornings), you have to establish a habit of doing it to make it part of your regular routine. I'm at the point now where blogging has become a more conscious daily habit, which also helps me identify things I encounter throughout the day that are worth blogging about.

For example, I'm in the habit now of making notes, or leaving myself Jotts, of things I encounter - no matter how small - that are worth cogitating on and possibly blogging about later.

Perhaps most important, however, is discipline. We're all incredibly busy people. The things we need to do in our daily lives - professional and personal - can easily overwhelm us. That's why it's so important to set aside time for the things you find the most valuable, that end up making the rest of what you do more manageable and more successful.

For me, I now set aside at least an hour each day for reading and writing. I take that time to read through my various RSS feeds, flip through a few magazines, and sometimes just randomly browse the Web for things new & interesting. I also take some of that time to write reflections on what I read. Sometimes those reflections end up as nothing more than "FYI" emails to friends & colleagues. Sometimes they end up here.

I occasionally hear from folks who say they're just too busy to do any reading, let alone writing. The email newsletter subscriptions pile up, RSS feeds go unread. I hear this more frequently from folks who are early in their careers.

The feeling of being "too busy" never goes away - no matter how long you've been doing it, how old you are, or what you do for a living. You need to consciously make time for the things that are important to you.

For me, that includes taking time each day to see what others are thinking, discover new ideas and fresh perspectives, and then occasionally ruminate on those ideas for myself (and indirectly for others) in formats such as this.

I find it personally and professionally profitable. I think you will too.

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