Daily Habits of the Industrious Worker — Research, Improvise, Serve, Create, and Publish.
I just wanted to share my experience as a maker of things. This is not the only pattern of dealing with solving the problem of productivity. Only a look at the process I have been improving on over the course of several years.
The benefits of optimizing your productivity cannot be underestimated. From never lacking common resources (shelter, food) to being taken to places you could only dream of. If — and only if — you consistently execute on the principles described in this productivity tutorial.
After I published my WebGL book a year ago, I was eventually contacted by a game industry veteran. We’re now friends and new opportunities have become available to me. I had no idea anything like this would happen when I started the book on a subject I naturally had fun writing about.
Working consistently over the years you develop and improve on the tactical strategy that makes sense to you. Here is an example of what it might be.
If you are a creator, author or maker of things… you might think of this as a creativity pipeline. I’m going to explain it in the remainder of this article.
You are rarely the original source of the subject you cover. Your goal is to serve rather than to create. In order to serve you must obtain sufficient amount of knowledge about the subject first.
All subjects you research are finite. It’s possible to get to the bottom of each one. That’s your goal. You simply want to soak it all in. Push through and force yourself in order to absorb even things that appear to be boring.
Find an essence of what makes it interesting. Everything exists for a purpose. Figure out what it is in that particular case. Fall in love with the subject for a few days if you have to… knowing that eventually there will be a break up.
Potential Mistake: Don’t rewrite what you learned right away. Solution: Give it 2–3 days or up to 10 days to absorb. No one is capable of having any conscious thought on the subject they have just absorbed. Avoid plagiarism.
You have waited a few days after initial research. By this time your brain has developed a tree… (more like a small bush, though) of neural connections representing that knowledge. At this time the fruit ripens and its harvest time.
Once you get a decent grasp on how something works or that one insight on what makes it tick… dig deeper and find out the key things that make the subject interesting, relevant or important.
In order to improvise and create unique content you need to use your imagination to toss things around in your head and put them back together in a fun, creative and informative way.
Never express information — no matter how authentic you are— without the single purpose to help people. You are not doing it for you. Not trying to be mean… but getting over yourself might be the single most important tactic here. Attention only serves you. You serve the people.
Always ask questions. Are you writing a tutorial? Who is it for? What is the lesson here? Remember… people you are writing for have not done the research you have. That’s why you are here. To tell an honest story based on the facts you have accumulated during the research stage.
Your goal is to express what you have learned. In other words… share it with your audience in a non-condescending way. It is not a knowledge contest —in practice that’s not even as attractive as you imagine.
Creative expression is helpful expression.
Avoid the trap of becoming competitive. It’s a threat — to some extent — to being original. And also the evidence that you require examples set by others. Instead of fortifying original content by focusing on your innate abilities and form of expression. . . that can only be tapped into by self-knowledge.
The better you get at helping more people the more competitive your content becomes. It’s already automatic if you focus on being helpful. Because your work is more likely to be shared by others who found it useful.
You only plant the seed. The remnants of your focus can be spent on doing something other than being competitive. . .
Like… being collaborative… or better yet — making a better quality product.
Up to this point we covered research, knowledge, creativity and imagination. Things that don’t produce anything. I think this reverberates well with a quote by Bruce Lee — “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” I think he was right.
You must be able to have mental and physical ability to create. To be firm in avoiding distractions, overcome procrastination and finally start getting things done. If you’re not doing this given enough time someone else will.
The realization that you have just put something into physical existence is like vitamins that revitalize your hope. Even if you did not publish the whole thing yet. Which… you shouldn’t until your work is considered complete. Whatever it may mean in the medium of your choice.
Release what you created.
Face your fear of failure.
But face your fear of success — too.
Take the very best of your work and release it as the child of mercy on the unsuspecting world. Track your results whenever possible. Work hard to do better next time. Take credit for your work. Thank those who appreciate it.
This article was sponsored by Learning Curve Books — my independent book publishing company. My focus is on helping people learn techy things fast(er).
Without applying ideas described on this page achieving that goal efficiently would probably be out of my hands.
Grab a copy of CSS Visual Dictionary — The ultimate CSS desk reference.
CSS — Visual Dictionary
Click here for the Amazon page and “Look Inside.”
What is this? A CSS desk reference to remind you of many common CSS properties with the accompanying visual diagrams explaining how they work — in a similar way as demonstrated in this tutorial.
Interested? Grab your copy here.
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This tutorial is based on an excerpt from my book — CSS Visual Dictionary.