Anti-Procrastination

22 10 2008

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Image by γαλώ /* [offline] on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by γαλώ on Flickr via Creative Commons

Today I’ve got a guest post over on the Saavy Entrepreneur Blog. Please do check it out. Cristina runs an Anti-Procrastination month each October to get back on track with work and stop putting things off. It’s a great idea.

How do you procrastinate?
Think about it, what do you do to procrastinate? I spend loads of time researching various topics on the internet, finding lots information which leads to more information. Then more and more. I’ll make a long list of things to do related to this, more websites to look at, and the spiral continues. This gives me a list of things to do, which is just another way to procrastinate actually doing the important things that I was looking at information about in the first place. Nuts I know.

Celebrating the new Poll feature in WordPress, I’ve set up a quick poll below. Please vote now!

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11 Things I’ve Learnt about Blogging (so far)

20 10 2008

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Image by adactio on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by adactio on Flickr via Creative Commons

“I blog, therefore I am” (by loads of people)

I’ve been blogging for six months now, albeit haphazardly. As I prepare to re-launch my blog and take it to the next level I am reflecting on what I have learned in the last 6 months.

  1. Your most popular post may surprise you
    My most popular post is “Top 10 ways to Implement GTD Simply”. I knew that GTD was a big topic of interest for my target audience but a stumble here and a back link there certainly made a big difference in my traffic volumes. As did being on the front of wordpress.com with it.
  2. Comments breed comments
    Your first comment is the hardest to get when you are new. I notice that once some has left the first comment other people will comment. This rule isn’t true for bigger blogs where people compete to be the first to leave comments.
  3. There are a lot of brilliant blogs out there
    There are so many well written, orientated and focused blogs out there that you can often find yourself quickly de-motivated about your own blogging skills. I have had a lot of ideas for blog posts which have been done before many times over. You have to see through this and just knuckle down to it and focus on generating your content.
  4. Writing good content isn’t easy
    Well for me it isn’t anyway. I have a short term personal goal to significantly improve my content generation. I would ideally like to posts 2-3 times per week. I think that posting everyday can prove to be information overload.
  5. Quality over quantity
    A well written short post is better than a rambling long post. Most people skim through the web anyway so you need to deliver the hard hitting messages in a concise way.
  6. Readers are nice
    The vast majority of people in the blogosphere are very nice. Most comments are positive and rather than being in competition with each other, bloggers are keen to go out of their way to help each other. This online community is something that is great to be a part of.
  7. There is a lot of information out there about blogging.
    I have spend a lot of time reading about how to blog, monetizing blogs, SEO, design and more. Then I realised that it would be far more beneficial for my blog if I stopped reading about blogging and actual took action and blogged. I now take a pull approach to getting information about “how to” blog. This means that I seek the information when I need it, rather than having it pushed at to me causing information overload and a never ending list of things to do with my blog. Really all you need is two action points: 1) Write good content 2) promote your blog.
  8. People like memes
    My “What’s your Lifestyle Project?” page has been very successful.  I really want to create a good meme with this, any ideas on how to achieve it?
  9. Hitting publish feels nice
    Too nice. Sometimes it is too easy to want to get something published and out there rather than spending those extra ten minutes re-reading and checking your writing flows correctly.
  10. Inspiration is everywhere
    I have ideas for posts all of the time and have a list longer than my arm of draft post titles. I could be driving in my car, reading a book, doing a particular task or reading another blog. If blogging was just about coming up with ideas for posts I think I’d have it made. I always make sure that I’ve got something to capture these ideas wherever I go.

  11. WordPress is great but…
    Sometimes editing the layout of your posts can get pretty frustrating!

There’s a starter for ten of what I’ve learned about blogging so far. I’m sure in six months the list will be rather different, and I hope I am keen to act on what I’ve learnt so far to grow my blog significantly over the coming months.

What are your perspectives on blogging (and how long have you been blogging if at all?). I’d love to know in the comments below. Thanks.

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Our Lifestyle Projects (and the future)

17 09 2008

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Image by Vermin Inc on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Vermin Inc on Flickr via Creative Commons

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” John M. Richardson Jr.

Without doubt, I think that the part of my Blog that has triumphed is the “What’s your Lifestyle Project?” page. It was a slow start, but once a few people posted the confidence of the community grew and now the flood gates have opened for people sharing their Lifestyle Projects. This is excellent, thanks to everyone that has shared.

If you haven’t shared your Lifestyle Project yet, please take a moment to think about it and do so here.

I have to be honest, I’ve been on a bit on a mission with Twitter recently and whenever someone follows me I send them a thanks notice via Tweet Later which invites them to share their Lifestyle Project on the Blog. This has been a great success, with 50 people so far sharing their Lifestyle Projects. I have done a short response to every single one, but plan to contact some individuals in the future to do some more in depth responses, actions plans and posts. Drop me a line if you would be interested lifestyle [dot] project [at] yahoo [dot] com.

What I have noticed so far is that there are a number of similar projects (or goals) amongst the submissions. I guess to an extent this is to be expected as readers of my Blog, and my followers on twitter are bound to have similar interests. There is a strange comfort in knowing that other people are striving for the same achievements as yourself and I’m sure we can all help each other realise our dreams.

My plans now are to improve this area of the site and refocus the Blog content more strategically towards helping myself and my readers pursue their Lifestyle Projects. I will be analysing the responses so far and aiming to increase submissions. I want to keep that area of the site simple but I am going to pursue options for managing people’s submissions of Lifestyle Projects better. I am aware of various sites that people can use to track their goals, but really all you need to track your goals in a list of what you are prioritising.

I’m on holiday next week, in part to research options for moving abroad as mentioned previously. Once I get back I plan to move the Blog properly on to a hosted wordpress.org platform, with a site redesign and more content focus.

So over to you my readers, how would you like to see this area of the site (and indeed the blog as a whole) progress? I have some ideas but would be interested in your feedback. Please do leave a comment below and let me know.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your kind words about the blogs so far, and taking time to interact with the Lifestyle Project community! The futures bright, so stay tuned!

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Thanks for your feedback on my Friday Fun & Roundup posts. For the moment, I’m going to stick with them and try and make the posts as interesting and useful as possible.

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The Last Friday Fun & Roundup? | 10/09/2008

12 09 2008
Image by Ben McLeod on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Ben McLeod on Flickr via Creative Commons

In the grand scheme of things, I think maybe my Friday Fun & Roundup posts are perhaps not the best things to put on my blog (maybe they feature better on a site that is purely personal?). I think that my readers (who are great people) deserve richer content rather than me being lazy and just posting up some links? However, I do like my link posts as I spend far too much time on the web and find many things that I think my readers will be interested in.

Therefore, I’m currently thinking of a way to still deliver these, but without diluting the overall content offering of my blog.

Anyway, here are some links I’ve enjoyed this week and I hope you will too (I’m sure they say a lot about what I’m thinking about a lot at the moment!) :

What do you think? Please do let me know in the comments your honest opinion (your comments mean a lot too me).





Blog Action Day, October 15th 2008 – I’m In

18 08 2008

I’m taking part in this Blog Action Day this year on October 15th. This year Blog Action Day is about Poverty.

“…the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue.”

So what’s it all about? Well here are all the details from the Blog Action Day website:

Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.

One Issue, Thousands of Voices
Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer. By asking thousands of different people to give their viewpoints and opinions, Blog Action Day creates an extraordinary lens through which to view these issues. Each blogger brings their own perspective and ideas. Each blogger posts relating to their own blog topic. And each blogger engages their audience differently.

What is the aim of Blog Action Day?
First and last, the purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.

By doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue.

Out of this discussion naturally flow actions, advice, ideas, plans, and empowerment. In 2007 on the theme of the Environment, we saw bloggers running environmental experiments, detailing innovative ideas on creating sustainable practices and focusing audience’s attentions on organizations and companies promoting green agendas. In 2008 we aim to again focus the blogging community’s energies and passions, this time on the mammoth issue of global poverty.

Mass Participation
From the smallest online journals, to huge online magazines, to EU ministers, to professionals and amateurs, Blog Action Day is about mass participation. Anyone is free to join in on Blog Action Day and there is no limit on the number of posts, the type of posts or the direction of thoughts and opinions.

So there you go. I’m looking forward to writing my post for Blog Action Day. If you are a blogger I hope that you’ll sign up and take part.

Anyone got any ideas for the angle I can take with my post please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to make sure you are subscribed to Lifestyle Project via RSS or eMail (it’s free) so that you don’t miss my post!

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My Goals Review

10 08 2008

This your kind of thing? Please think about subscribing via RSS or eMail (it’s free). Thanks for taking the time to visit! Chris

Photo by Monster on Flickr via Creative Commons

Photo by Monster on Flickr via Creative Commons

Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we’re all of us looking for the key. Alan Bennett

In the interests of open disclosure (and practicing what I preach), I thought I’d do a monthly review of my personal goals and where I am up to with them. I usually about once a week do a personal review of my goals and thoughts in a nice leather bound journal that I have. I thought it would be good to post my progress on the blog, as as (slowly but surely) more people visit get some reaction.

I think that doing personal reviews, much like GTDs weekly review, is great for making progress towards your goals. Even though you know what progress you are making generally, when you sit and write it down and make yourself accoutable you really bring to the front of your mind the actual progress you are making. For example, doing this now really reminded me that I am making no progress against goal no. 2!



Goal No.1 – Generate Income without a 9-5

I’ve got lots of ideas bubbling over a the moment. I have put a lot of work in to this blog to learn about social networking, blog writing and internet oppurtunities in general. The idea is not really to monetize this blog, but build on what I learn and track my progress here.

I re-reassured myself that moving from a 9-5 to an income stream that I control myself if the way to go, and I continue to work actively towards that goal.

Projects that I can update on: I am putting together a Lifestyle Project eBook. It’s in the researching phase at the moment but I hope that it will improve my writing ability and add some real value to this site.



Goal No. 2 – Be in a Band

I’m sad to report that I have made no progress towards this goal, other than sending a guitar playing friend a message via Facebook saying that we should meet up for a Jam session. I think that I have been making good progress on the other goals and this has just had to take a back seat. I plan to bring this goal more in to focus in the coming months as I really want to have something together to play at my Dad’s 60th birthday party next year.



Goal No. 3 – Maintain Fitness

I chose the word ‘Maintain’ as this is something that I have struggled with in the past. I am pleased to report tha I have made excellent progress towards this goal. My weight loss has been excellent and my strength and endurance increase every time I train. I am very pleased and I am managing to fit the training sessions around my other commitments. This is staying as a goal as I need to maintain it. I have also signed up to a Triathlon at the end of next month (Sprint), but realise that I need to put in place further targets beyond that to keep the maintenance of my training going.

I plan to do this review on here about once per month and would love some comments below! I do have a post coming up about goal setting, but for the moment here is a link so some information about turning Goals in to Habits from Leo over at ZenHabits.

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Mobile Blogging

1 08 2008

I’ve just installed the WordPress App for the iPhone so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Anyway, the news is that I’ve been initially accepted to join the Brazen Careerist blog network which I am pleased about. This network is for twenty-somethings who have posts in some way related to career development (although not necessarily conventional ones).

I’m looking forward to developing with this network as I can see it helping my posts move forward and help me further develop my niche.

I suppose I should talk about mobile blogging too! Well this app does mean that I can write blogs whenever the feeling takes me. I do find that i can be out and about and have some time when I can just focus on an activity. The iPhone is great for that.