Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Massive Productivity Improvement #4: Handwrite Before You Type Blog Posts- Or Anything Else

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I was spending a $10.00 Office Depot gift certificate when I noticed a sad sight, notebooks on sale for 1 cent each! True, it was a back-to-school promotion, but the price being that low seems indicative of having more in stock than they could sell. There's less writing by hand now. It's good for paper waste, but bad for learning, writing skill, preserving brain function and what I'll focus on here- productivity.


When you write on the computer it's incredibly easy to give in the siren's call of social media or YouTube. Before you know it you may have spent hours checking up on Facebook, Instagram, or your favorite blogs. And that's fine and fun to do in those designated time slots but it can be the death of a piece of writing.

Meanwhile, writing by hand with all electronics turned off stimulates different creative areas of the brain. You guessed it, it's that creative group of cells in the brain that keep coming up in my studies, the Reticular Activating System. The RAS "filters" distractions and helps you focus intently on your writing while you're handwriting on paper. (Versus typing while looking at a computer screen.)

Some physicians claim the act of handwriting engages your motor skills to keep your brain and body limber and active as you age. Many writers, like Susan Sotang and Truman Capote wrote their manuscripts by hand first, Sotang saying it relaxed her and helped the creative process. Studies conducted on children have shown their writing is consistently better when it's on paper. The study illuminated one reason why my "writing voice" changed for the worst after years of copywriting in a cubicle, it was all typing on the computer and no handwriting.


Typing on the computer can be like skimming the surface of a body of water; handwriting is like diving to the deep depths and taking in all of the details. It can be like the difference between reading a buzzfeed article on any given topic and reading a 300 page medical journal or thesis paper on the subject. It increases retention of the information, too. I've been handwriting with my computer off for three days straight and feel like I could possibly hit me goal of being a year ahead on posts in a month of writing, it's a productivity game-changer!

If you're stuck, or have trouble focusing while trying to write on a computer, consider switching it off and breaking out a fresh notebook and a favorite pen and getting lost in the art of blissful, productive, distraction-free writing. Convert it to your computer later (which will help you edit since you'll be reading it again, or you can be like Capote who would re-write a second draft by hand on paper again). There's a place for both, but that's the key, we need both in our writing going forward.

See Also: Massive Productivity Improvement #1: 3 Goals Per Week. 3 Tasks Per Day
Massive Productivity Improvement #2: 80/20 Rule

Massive Productivity Improvement #3: Use Biorythms to be 200% More Productive

(  But if you guys refuse I'll just go blow my $1.00 and get 100 notebooks and do all the hand-writing myself! I'm rich, rich in all the notebooks, I say! Just kidding that sale is now defunct. :(  )
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Monday, August 22, 2016

My One Step For Arranging Gallery Walls: Less Holes, Less Time, More Fun

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If you're reading this you might be a fellow weirdo that re-arranges gallery walls often. Maybe you're fickle, maybe you do it to refresh your space, maybe you're always just trying to find the right balance. Maybe you're all of the above like me! Hopefully, you work in an art gallery or something to justify the insane amount of wall art re-arrangement. I've done this too so much that I've decided to do something simple that will make this easier in the future...


I trace all the artwork I own on paper and keep those papers on hand so I can arrange these into pleasing compositions first before any nails go in the walls!


One day I'll have a balance I can leave alone in this space (ha, maybe!) but until then, these paper tracing of my pieces will really come in handy.


How do you hang you gallery walls or art collections? Any tips to share?  I'm still trying to figure out my living area combined "great space" now that I relieved myself of some more furniture. I both follow and break the eye-height formula depending on the function of an area or where I want the eye to go. I'll have more gallery wall hanging tips coming soon!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Reassuring, Down to Earth Advice From a Very Successful Man On How to "Get Rich"

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My recent trip to Virginia to visit with AJ's family was fun, and illuminating. We passed field after field of cornfields in Suffolk, Virginia, a novelty I've never seen.


One night I was taken to meet AJ's great uncle and aunt. This house, one of a few for them, was their modest "common" home, they joked. It had multiple bedrooms, a movie theatre, indoor exercise pool,  indoor bar, dock, outdoor kitchen and more dizzying amenities I didn't have time to take in. Over ample servings of sweet tea, roast beef (potatoes for me), green beans, and home grown tomatoes we discussed life and business. He owns 150,000 (I couldn't believe my ears) acres, ample real estate, businesses, other homes the size of hotels and much more, but his advice was humble and relatable. I wanted to share it for anyone who's struggling, it gives you hope!


1. You have to crawl before you can walk, you have to walk before you can run.

2. You're going to fall and pick yourself back-up, over and over and over again.


He talked about how he started his first business by a loan from his older sister, times of sleeping under bridges, going bankrupt and feeling like he'd never "make it". But he kept going. And then he did. I always admire that type of tenacity, his advice about crawling first and picking yourself up and keep going rings true. You're never going to "get rich" without failing first or making mistakes along the way.

It's how you learn from the mistakes, and more importantly, that you keep going despite the set-backs, that counts.
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