Pour Your Purse Back into Your Health

Pour Your Purse Back into Your Health

Ambitious creatives and creators are constantly coming up with new ideas, engaging in a variety of projects, and at times pushing themselves beyond their limits.

It’s easy to get swallowed up in the roller-coaster excitement and emotion of it all.

Plus, projects tend to validate creatives and creators. In a world where people are obsessed with one simple question – “what do you do?” – projects give us meaning (though we should not feel obligated to justify our existence or our work).

Now, it’s easy to say, “don’t burn out,” “don’t overwork,” “don’t buy into the hustle,” or otherwise.

And when I say it, I say it with the utmost sincerity. Because my latest burnout was unpleasant, even though I was well-prepared (because of previous experience).

Perhaps a more caring way to articulate this is by saying:

Pour your purse back into your health.

Pour your purse back into your health. Click To Tweet

It’s all well and good to pursue your passions and earn more money. But if all it does is add more busyness and stress to your life, there’s a good chance you’re out of balance in some way.

It’s okay to be out of balance temporarily, especially if you’re on an unconventional path, but you shouldn’t stay there long. You shouldn’t rev your engine that hard for that long.

The money you earn should be reinvested into your projects. But it should also be reinvested into your health.

Whether it’s going on vacation, buying organic foods and supplements, or getting a gym membership, consider how you can support and sustain your well-being long-term. Obsess over sustainability.

Whether it’s going on vacation, buying organic foods and supplements, or getting a gym membership, consider how you can support and sustain your well-being long-term. Click To Tweet

I have gotten into this habit, and every time I go to the grocery store, I’m always looking for something I can add to my diet that’s going to benefit me, even if it’s just one thing.

Remember – you would not have gotten to where you are without your brain and your body. And you need them to function optimally for you to function optimally. There is no other way!

I know entrepreneurs who struggle with self-care, so they often don’t realize it when they need a break to feel excited about what they’re doing, produce great work, and pivot where necessary. There comes a time when solving problems with more action just becomes a form of insanity.

There comes a time when solving problems with more action just becomes a form of insanity. Click To Tweet

There’s no virtue in being a red-eye domain name buyer. Because those are the decisions you tend to regret later.

Your health and well-being are deserving of your attention. When you’ve got a surplus of cash, consider reinvesting.

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5 Books I Read in 2020 That Made a Difference

5 Books I Read in 2020 That Made a Difference

If there’s something you want to learn, there are few activities as valuable as reading books.

Authors often share their best ideas and tips in their books. And considering you can get most books for about $20; you’d be hard pressed to find a more valuable resource.

Here I share five books that made a difference for me in 2020.

Killing Marketing by Joe Pulizzi & Robert Rose

Killing Marketing book

Joe Pulizzi is the author of Content Inc., one of my favorite business books. And Robert Rose, of course, has a long history with Joe Pulizzi, especially at Content Marketing Institute and with the PNR with This Old Marketing podcast.

And then you have the two teaming up to write a book. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, as I shared in my book notes on Killing Marketing about a year ago, the first few chapters seem to waffle endlessly on what is bound to be a forgone conclusion for forward thinking marketers. Pulizzi and Rose were clearly writing to traditional marketers who have yet to understand or embrace digital best practices.

The middle chapters are where the book delivered a goldmine of proven strategies, tactics, and ideas one could apply to their enterprise, or even their small independent business. From revenue streams to qualities that make an e-newsletter successful, there were multiple gems worth mining for. I just wish the book focused primarily on these, but as they say, the best part of a book is usually about an hour into it.

Killing Marketing (affiliate link) alerted me to aspects of digital monetization and marketing best practices I wasn’t even aware of. And it reminded me of key takeaways I already knew. I experimented with an e-newsletter in 2020, and my discoveries in this book served as the guiding light.

No B.S. Business Success in the New Economy by Dan S. Kennedy

No B.S. Business Success in the New Economy by Dan S. Kennedy

It’s because of No B.S. Business Success in the New Economy that I no longer judge Dan Kennedy books by their title or cover. This book is a veritable goldmine for entrepreneurs and independent creators, even though Kennedy’s target audience is primarily professionals.

What does it take to succeed in business? What is the mindset required? How should you think about relationships and connections as applied to ambition? How do you structure your inner circle? This book will answer every question posed and more.

About the only downside I can think of is that I wish I wrote the book. Because it will leave you feeling empowered and better equipped to handle any challenges that come your way.

No B.S. Business Success in the New Economy (affiliate link) should be on the bookshelf of any ambitious creative or creator and it should be devoured from cover to cover more than once.

Speak to Sell by Dan S. Kennedy

Speak to Sell by Dan S. Kennedy

You should only open your mouth when you are ready to sell.

You should only open your mouth when you are ready to sell. Click To Tweet

If I were to sum up legendary marketer Dan Kennedy’s Speak to Sell in a sentence, the above would be it.

This is not a how-to book. Kennedy doesn’t tell you how you can turn every presentation, radio interview, podcast interview, webinar, or otherwise into a money-making opportunity. But he tells you why you should approach every engagement that way.

When you understand just how disciplined Kennedy is about his work, and the lengths he will go to protect his personal productivity, it shines light on why Kennedy has always approached the opportunity to speak in this manner. He is always looking to maximize results from every effort, and he puts lesser entrepreneurs to shame with his work ethic and vigilance.

From Speak to Sell (affiliate link), I understood that there must be a purpose behind every public message you share. If there isn’t, you’re just speaking. But when you are clear on your intention, you are speaking to sell.

Sex Money Kiss by Gene Simmons

Sex Money Kiss by Gene Simmons

Kennedy’s Speak to Sell soon led me to Gene Simmons’ Sex Money Kiss. And it wasn’t long before I saw just how philosophically aligned the two are.

I don’t think any musician or creative can come away from Sex Money Kiss uninspired. When you understand that Gene Simmons considers himself lucky that he gets to make money at something he loves, and when he was first getting started, he was happy to be able to do it on evenings and weekends, you see that he’s far more pragmatic than he’s often given credit for.

Sex Money Kiss is not in the voice of a Rockstar who has conquered sexual and musical mountains. It’s in the voice of a caring father who wants to pass on his best advice about life. And there is far more content in the book than most readers would even suspect. Simmons puts some professional authors to complete shame (I read my share of awful books this year too, and one specifically was by a well-known marketer).

Simmons’ relationship and marital advice will be shirked by some readers. But Simmons is about the only figure who will help you understand that every decision you make is a monetary decision and that perspective is as valuable as it is rare.

Sex Money Kiss (affiliate link) reignited my passion. And it helped me see the world from a different perspective. It offered practical advice on how to structure my days and weeks. It helped me to see the financial implications of every decision I make, including relationship decisions.

Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson

Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson

Russell Brunson is infamous in the digital marketing world – for good reasons, and for not so good reasons.

But if you had read some of his earlier works, and thought to yourself, as I had, whether this man would ever find his stride as an authority, Traffic Secrets banishes any doubt from your mind.

Brunson makes a bold move here, as he now has in his catalog a book that will need to be updated at least every two to three years, as it specifically mentions platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google, and so on.

If 2021 so far is any indication, there could be some massive upheaval in the social media space. Though I will withhold any specific comments as to what I see coming.

Regardless, Brunson is smart in clarifying that a) there are many sources of traffic available, b) traffic is platform driven, c) how we use these platforms is based on what’s working now (algorithm dependent), and d) you only need to focus on one channel to make seven-figures in your business. At the end of the book, he notes publishing daily and developing your Dream 100 connections is enough to cross that threshold.

After reading Traffic Secrets, you will get that if you’re engaged in digital marketing, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You can pick a suitable platform (based on your audience and the type of content you’re creating), learn its ins and outs, emulate people who are more successful than you are, and with persistence find traction on your chosen channel.

If you thought it was all upsides, I will say this – I kind of wish Brunson read my writing tips. There are some things about the way he writes that drives me insane. And that’s coming from someone who also doesn’t follow the rules 100% of the time.

With Traffic Secrets (affiliate link), I’ve been able to take my Medium, Twitter, and YouTube game to the next level. And those are the platforms I intend to focus on in 2021. If anything, I’m doing more with Medium and Twitter than YouTube.

Final Thoughts

My reading habit was on the uptick in 2020. But I’m looking forward to reading and discovering many more great books in 2021.

What will you be reading in 2021?

Do you have any recommended books?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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Always be Watching for What Could Benefit Others

Always be Watching for What Could Benefit Others

Whenever I’m reading a book or listening to a podcast, I’m not just thinking about what’s in it for me. I’m thinking about what’s in it for my social circle too. Because most of them are creatives and creators, and they’re often looking for solutions to their pressing concerns, just as I am.

I may read a book and think to myself, “I think ABC ought to read this.”

Or I may listen to a podcast and think to myself, “XYZ would really benefit from this!”

This may seem somewhat unusual but it’s classic networking advice. After meeting someone, following up with an article or resource that would be of interest to them can build rapport.

I’d suggest doing this in a thoughtful, calculated way, though, because sending them a super obvious article about something they probably already know about their industry is just going to annoy them.

But why do this in the first place? What’s the benefit?

In self-improvement, we often get too fixated on ourselves. After all, the word “self” appears first in that term.

But if you were to think carefully on why you got into self-improvement in the first place, it’s because of something more you wanted out of life. And the things you want are often on the other end of uncomfortable or difficult conversations.

If other people aren’t part of your self-improvement journey, you’re probably doing it wrong.

To get what you want, you may need to get out of your comfort zone to have a conversation with someone you don’t know. You may need to get in good graces with someone of influence. What are you going to do if you don’t know how? How are you going to take your self-improvement to the next level if improving your social and communication skills isn’t a part of your growth plan?

But the thing that people often don’t see – because they are so fixated on themselves – is that when they help others, it ends up helping them.

You feel better when you help someone. You learn from the interaction. And it ends up building your credibility and authority. You become the go-to person when people are looking for a resource. Further, rising tides raise all ships.

We all talk about growing a “following” but that only comes from helping others. There’s no reputation to gain from naval gazing.

If you make recommendations others appreciate, guaranteed your influence will grow. Because you’ll be focused on the needs of your audience, instead of being focused entirely on your own needs and wants.

There’s no self-improvement if you stay in your comfort zone. And there’s no self-improvement if others aren’t a part of it.

Always be watching for what could benefit others. And when you find something of interest, send it their way. This is what leaders do.

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How to Crush Your 2021 Goals

How to Crush Your 2021 Goals

Once you’ve set your goals, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to accomplish them.

In this guide, I share multiple steps you can take to ensure that what matters gets done in 2021.

But think of it like a buffet. Take what you want and leave the rest.

Here’s what to do to ensure you make monumental progress this year.

Determine Your Focus(es)

After over three decades on this planet, I am only now beginning to recognize that I am not a monomaniac. I admire those who are, as well as their accomplishments.

I, on the other hand, thrive on multitasking and engaging in several projects simultaneously. I’ve tried doing it the other way, and to my surprise, it left me feeling sad.

So, do what feels right for you. But make sure you have a focus (or multiple focuses, as the case might be). If you don’t, you will start many projects but finish none.

Get into the publishing habit and you will win 2021.

Work Backwards

Take a moment and envision everything you’d love to accomplish in 2021. Then, begin to work backwards and figure out what actions you need to take today to bring about that result.

I remember sharing this with a showing agent who had never heard of this approach before. It kind of blew her mind.

Although crude, it’s that old saying:

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Although I forget the source, apparently actor Will Smith’s secret to success is biting off more than he can chew, and chewing until it’s digested.

There are little things you can do today to work towards desired outcomes. Start making time for them. Put them in your schedule. And be realistic about the amount of time and effort it’s going to take.

Which brings me to…

Schedule it in

If you don’t schedule it in, it doesn’t exist!

Don’t leave things floating around in your mind. Ideas should be captured. Goals should be written down. Priorities should be scheduled.

Don’t leave things floating around in your mind. Ideas should be captured. Goals should be written down. Priorities should be scheduled. Click To Tweet

In 2019, I earned my location and time independence. But in 2020, I quickly discovered that having nothing in my calendar was kind of sad.

If I had something in my calendar to look forward to, I felt happier overall.

Bottom line – your goals will not take care of themselves. Document them, organize them, review them, and most importantly, schedule them in.

Ask for Help

As noted, I thrive on a full schedule with a variety of projects. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t menial, time sucking tasks I’d rather hand off.

These include:

  • Proofreading, editing, formatting, and scheduling posts in WordPress
  • My podcast – editing, show notes and transcriptions, uploading MP3s to Amazon S3, lead magnets, formatting, scheduling in WordPress, syndication, and distribution
  • Keeping websites up to date, including SEO

If these tasks were off my plate, I’d be able to focus more on the creative aspects of what I do and spend more time generating business.

I’m preaching at myself more than anyone else. Getting help and hiring can be hard, but that shouldn’t stop you from speculating on possibilities for collaboration.

Systemize

Whether in your creative or business efforts, if your work isn’t systemized, you’re basically flying by the seat of your pants. Another term for this is “total chaos.”

If your projects are small and manageable, and you find your work fulfilling, and you intend to keep things that way, then perhaps there is no value in systemization. Otherwise, there is.

I’ve written a helpful post on how to create systems on a creative, so if you’ve never done this before, and don’t know how, it’s worth a peek.

But whether it’s organizing your schedule, using a scheduling tool (like Calendly) to book your meetings, automating your social media posting, or otherwise, you can benefit a great deal from simple, basic systems that tame the chaos.

You can do a lot with a tool like Zapier. I’ve known about this tool for a long time, but I’m just beginning to recognize the possibilities.

At times, it may seem as though there’s nothing more uncreative than making systems but trust me when I say anyone with ambition will benefit from them.

Embrace Minimum Viable

In an earlier post, I shared about how minimum viable products can help you overcome perfectionism.

Personally, when I don’t insist on perfection, I seem to make more progress faster.

For example, when building a new website, it would be easy to fuss over the logo, fonts, color scheme, placement of elements, and so on.

But if you just start blocking everything in and worry about the finer details later, you’d be able to bring your website to market faster.

And in most cases, that is more advantageous to you, since the website could be up working for you, helping you get traffic, leads, business, and so on, sooner.

Start with wireframes or low-resolution versions of your product and start getting feedback right away. Add the icing later, after you’ve generated interest in your creation.

Follow Inspiring, Knowledgeable People

Curate your social media feeds. Start muting those who add no value to you and instead start listening to – and interacting with – those who inspire you.

If you humble yourself, you will quickly discover there’s always more to learn. And when you follow inspiring people, it will change the way you think. You will become a possibility thinker!

The late Dr. Schuller has a book called Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking. And while it rooted in Biblical ideas, regardless of your faith or persuasion, it’s worth a read. If I’m not mistaken, David J. Schwartz talked about it in The Magic of Thinking Big (affiliate link) as well.

You will know when you’re thinking big because your ideas will seem uncomfortable, but they will also actively excite you beyond measure.

You will know when you’re thinking big because your ideas will seem uncomfortable, but they will also actively excite you beyond measure. Click To Tweet

Unsubscribe

Is inbox zero just a dream? Do you find your inbox get cluttered overnight?

There’s a good chance you’re subscribed to too many newsletters and email lists.

I recently heard SuperFastBusiness founder James Schramko say that even if you get someone to handle your email for you, chances are they won’t do it perfectly.

Suggesting that email is your responsibility, and you should be the one to handle it!

But make sure your process is clear and simple. Know which emails to respond to, which to delete, and which to unsubscribe from.

(By the way, I used to believe in putting some emails in another category – later. The problem is I never get around to them. Perhaps later should not be a category.)

If you do this, your inbox will become much quieter and more manageable.

Eliminate

You will not crush your goals in 2021 by adding more to your to-do list or schedule. Ruthlessly eliminate anything that’s not in complete alignment with your focus or focuses.

Ruthlessly eliminate anything that’s not in complete alignment with your focus or focuses. Click To Tweet

Many entrepreneurs, like Quazi Johir, say they set out to accomplish three to five things per day, ignoring all else. Of course, knowing which three to five things to focus on is critical!

Do you find yourself trying to finish 10 to 20 things per day? Maybe it’s time to prioritize your list and make time for the few key things that will move the needle on your career or business.

Spend Less Time Watching the News (Unless it’s Part of Your Job)

Whether we like to admit it or not, 2020 is the year many of us spent glued to the tube.

And even if it wasn’t the tube, it was Flipboard, or YouTube, or Facebook. We kept an eye on the headlines, worried about what might happen next.

I don’t think 2021 is going to be any different. It will probably get worse before it gets better.

You should stay up to date, but not to the detriment of your mental and emotional health, which always ends up impacting your physical health too. Think of it this way – if you can’t sleep because of your worries, your physical health is already suffering.

Many people will say 2020 was a year unlike any other (because it’s a theme that’s been repeated in the media), but when you take a cold, hard look at the facts, it was a year much like any other. So, all that worrying was for nothing.

If you want to crush your goals, focus on them instead!

Follow Your Heart

When goal setting is a slog…

Planning seems like a chore…

And being in action only leads to frustration…

Remember ONE thing – your heart has the answers.

If something does not inspire you, motivate you, or excite you, it could be of some benefit, but it probably won’t yield huge results.

Now, I’m not talking about exercise or other habits that you may not want to do but benefit you anyway.

I’m talking about your projects and focuses. If they don’t make you want to jump out of bed every morning, they should at least prompt you to conscious and deliberate action. Otherwise, you’re off course and should reconsider.

Final Thoughts

Setting goals is great. But you must put some action behind them if you want to reach them.

Thinking, reflecting, and planning are all critical to your success. But all things being equal, action always carries more benefit. So, this year, develop a bias towards action!

All things being equal, action always carries more benefit. So, this year, develop a bias towards action! Click To Tweet

What are you doing to ensure you reach your 2021 goals?

Let me know in the comments.

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7 Recommended Books for Self-Improvement

7 Recommended Books for Self-Improvement

So, you’ve decided to work on yourself.

This is generally harder than many assume it to be, and sometimes the unicorn and rainbow world of self-improvement can seem like fluff in the face of real-life challenges.

But among the glut of poorly written, badly cited, semi-informational works, there are still those that stand out and add value to the reader.

Here are seven self-improvement books I think are solid reads.

1. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

For many, The Magic of Thinking Big (affiliate link) will have been their entrance into the world of self-improvement.

And while some might consider the content “basic,” I have read this book several times, and each time different parts of it have spoken to me more clearly and loudly.

Spaced repetition is good practice with any material you intend to internalize, but this type of magic isn’t present in many books. The Magic of Thinking Big is one of those rarities.

So, even if you think it might be too basic, too commonsense, or too obvious, give it another try. Read it all the way through. Likely, some passages will be highlighted just for you, and you will be better off for having read them.

2. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

As A Man Thinketh (affiliate link) is a personal development classic that lays everything out in black and white. Its core tenant – that our outer world reflects our inner world (the mirror principle) – is also echoed in age old philosophies and wisdom.

More in-depth reading will be required to flesh out this concept in full. The Secret, and more importantly, Reality Transurfing Steps I-V. But jumping into these books without some context and endurance (Reality Transurfing is over 700 pages long) is going to prove lofty.

I believe author James Allen’s intent to be pure. That said, you can still take this information the wrong way, believing that all “bad” thoughts must be banished lest they manifest in your reality. That is a tall order for the best of humans, and let’s face it – that passing thought you had about your friend’s head exploding isn’t coming true.

That’s why I say it may be a good starting point, but only that.

3. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

So, what is the secret to adulthood? How can we remain productive and effective? How can we find the internal resources required to make our dreams a reality?

You’ve heard much about compound interest. Well, The Slight Edge (affiliate link) shows you exactly how it works as applied to life decisions, ranging from business and finances to health and relationships.

The Slight Edge is an easy read. But you will get something from it that no summary can provide. You will gain a sense of motivation as you never have before, and a clearer plan for the achievement of your goals.

If you can find an early edition, that’s what I recommend. Newer editions are needlessly repetitive.

4. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect (affiliate link) picks up where Jeff Olson’s The Slighted Edge let off. First, you will be schooled again on the importance of the compound effect. But reinforcement is good.

Fortunately, this is not the same book. It’s just that Hardy and Olson both hold motivational speaker Jim Rohn in high regard.

In this short volume, Hardy unpacks choices, habits, momentum, influences, acceleration, and how understanding these components leads to jumpstarting your income, life, and success.

Great reading for newbies and personal development fiends alike.

5. Beyond Positive Thinking by Robert Anthony

Beyond Positive Thinking by Robert Anthony

Robert Anthony is required reading if you claim to be a self-improvement enthusiast, and in Beyond Positive Thinking (affiliate link), we find him in prime form.

Positive thinking can spark ideas and help you see possibilities in challenging situations. But maintaining positive thinking is a herculean task at best, and many have keeled over at the alter of positive thinking.

This is beyond positive thinking, though, and author Anthony doesn’t sugarcoat it. He tells you exactly what to expect as you begin climbing your personal mountain towards desired outcomes and results.

You will be inspired. But you will also understand that the path to your goals isn’t paved with unicorns and rainbows.

6. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

Best known for his success with the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and appearance in The Secret movie, here author Jack Canfield explains the 67 principles, how to apply them, and how Canfield himself has seen them at effect in his life and the lives of others.

How Canfield expects you to remember or even apply all 67 principles is well beyond my grasp. That said, I don’t think you need to be a devotee to every principle to find success on your own terms. The book offers both inspiration and practical steps you can apply, and both are key ingredients to a better book.

Despite the critique already given, The Success Principles (affiliate link) is a great read for those who aspire to more. Pay special attention to the Rule of 5, which can basically be applied to any aspect of your creative projects, business, health, relationships, life, or otherwise.

7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (affiliate link), author Mark Manson comes out swinging, showing the reader in daylight clarity, how personal development hasn’t made a single soul happier. Ouch.

But he does not throw the baby out with the bathwater. The subtle art is a subtle shift in perspective – seeing self-improvement from an angle that’s often missed by motivational speakers parading standout successes and abnormal achievements.

Manson says instead of trying to measure up to the gurus, the prodigies, and the geniuses of the world, work on you. Embrace the ordinary that you are, stay curious and ask questions – never assuming you know it all. Then you will never run out of growth runway.

You have more to gain from Manson’s loving tough talk than many a fluffy personal development book.

Final Thoughts

The above list should not be considered definitive or comprehensive, and depending on what you’re working on right now, there are more great books to choose from. If you need a recommendation, just leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

What is your favorite self-improvement book? Are there any you think I should read?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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How to Use Sunday Planning Sessions to Improve Your Life

How to Use Sunday Planning Sessions to Improve Your Life

Have you ever woken up Monday morning only to discover that you completely forgot about a meeting you’d been booked for?

If you managed to pinpoint this oversight in time, you may have narrowly avoided a disaster.

But if you missed out on the meeting completely, you might have angry emails or voicemails waiting for you. Even if they aren’t angry, you still feel bad, because you know it reflects on your integrity.

And while no one is perfect, oftentimes, this type of situation is avoidable (it doesn’t have to be a meeting – it could be any kind of commitment). That’s what we’re going to look at here.

#StrategySunday

You may have seen one of my #StrategySunday posts.

To tell you the truth, I resisted doing anything of the sort for a long time.

But then I started publishing daily. And as I gained more practice and learned more about writing and marketing, I started to see the wisdom in coming up with a plan.

Which is why each day in the week has a specific theme on my blog:

  • Monday – entrepreneurship
  • Tuesday – self-improvement
  • Wednesday – productivity
  • Thursday – creativity
  • Friday – inspiration

It’s also why I started writing for a specific audience – creatives and creators.

Once I’d settled on this format, I’d figured out what to publish on the weekends – a weekly digest on Saturdays, and a #StrategySunday post on Sundays.

These posts serve functional purposes to be sure, and people are already finding value in them. But truth be known, they are also a lot easier for me to write. I get to have a bit of a mental break on the weekends.

So, you can see from this example that Sunday planning sessions have helped me create a stronger focus and gain more clarity on my vision.

It has also helped with my Medium strategy. Since I’m looking to grow my following and earn some more cash on Medium, having all the above in place takes a lot of guesswork out of the week. It has already paid off, even if it’s only in cents and not in dollars.

Why Plan on a Sunday?

Whether it’s author Darren Hardy or business mentor Lori Kennedy, you will find that many creatives and creators have a Sunday planning habit. My mentors plan on Sundays too.

Does this make Sunday the best time to plan? Not necessarily.

Again, I had some resistance to this. I was brought up in the church, where Sundays were sacred and were thought to be “a day of rest.”

I have no issue with that whatsoever.

But I think what makes Sunday planning powerful is that it’s quiet and no one else is doing it. It gives you space to think.

I get that Monday is the day most people dread, so planning on a Sunday could give rise to feelings of anxiety.

That’s not the case with creatives and creators who love what they do, though. They look forward to making the most of the week ahead.

And when you think about it, if you can work out all the “unknowns” in advance, Monday morning doesn’t have to be such a slog.

Of course, things can come up, and we may not end up doing everything according to our plan.

But if you have a plan, you’re more likely to put your priorities first in your schedule. That way, even if you end up getting a headache halfway through Wednesday (or any day), you will have at least completed what was most important and urgent on your to-do list.

If you have a plan, you’re more likely to put your priorities first in your schedule. Click To Tweet

5 Benefits of Sunday Planning

There are probably more benefits to Sunday planning than I can realistically identify or expand on.

But here are some of the main benefits I’ve reaped:

1. You Can Get Everything Out of Your Head

Author David Allen says your brain is a horrible storage device. I agree.

Getting your thoughts and ideas down on paper (or even down on your iPad) allows you to clear your mind and begin a new week knowing everything has been accounted for. That could contribute to a better sleep, too.

Writing everything down also tends to reduce anxiety. Because you can get clear on everything you need to do, including errands and minor to-do items.

2. You Can Boost Your Productivity

If you do all your planning on a Sunday, you should be able to identify gaps in your schedule and times when you aren’t booked for a meeting or anything else.

I’m not suggesting you fill every available gap in your schedule with productive work. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet was said to have surprised Bill Gates with his blank calendar. There is tremendous value in unscheduled time.

But if you want to squeeze more productivity out of the week, you should be able to identify gaps in your schedule where that can happen. Such opportunities tend not to present themselves when you’re “flying by the seat of your pants.”

3. You Can Brainstorm Ideas

Although I’ve never run out of content ideas, it often happens that by the time Sunday has rolled around, I’ll need to brainstorm additional ideas for the week ahead. Especially since I’ve settled on the format detailed earlier.

So, if you need to exercise your idea muscle, and determine worthwhile actions for the week, you can use your #StrategySundays to get clear on next steps in your projects.

4. You Can Speculate on Possibilities

I’ve shared about some of my journaling habits already. One of the things I love to do is speculate on possibilities.

Speculating on possibilities is just that. It’s not about trying to come up with right answers. It’s not about trying to form perfect answers. It’s just asking yourself, “What’s next? What are my next steps? What could I do to move towards the outcome I desire?”

And then you just write down what comes to mind, free form.

5. You Can Ponder Questions

This is a recent favorite and a valuable exercise at that.

Ask a question related to your projects. It could be something along the lines of, “What could I do to enhance my results in X area?” Or “What could I do to ensure I follow through on Y?”

Then, ponder the question and write down your answers. Again, your answers need not be right or perfect. The act of pondering is sometimes enough to cause a breakthrough.

Sunday Planning Sessions Final Thoughts

Whatever you focus on expands. Or so they say.

Whatever you focus on expands. Click To Tweet

So, if you focus on your projects and plan for them, you will achieve more meaningful results in your creative efforts.

If you focus on your health, well-being, and self-care, you will begin to feel better and have more energy for what matters.

Consider what you’d like to accomplish and in what areas you’d like to improve. Your Sunday planning sessions should revolve around those items and activities.

You can even take it a step further and time block everything in your schedule, so you know what you’re doing and when. After all, if it’s not in your calendar, it doesn’t exist.

Do you have a Sunday planning habit? What’s your method like?

Let me know in the comments.

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