Hello, Joshua Boswell, back with the seven simple daily habits of successful writers.
We covered earlier in the first segment and if you cheated and skipped ahead, go back and listen to the first one. We talked about doing that task list in the evening and we talked about making it short, we talked about, before you sit down and do it reviewing your purposes, where you’re going, what your trajectory is. We talked about reviewing your results, like, what did you do actually that day before, and we talked about leaving things open so that you could get to them and access them early on. We also talked about focusing on non-urgent, high priority stuff.
Okay, so that’s the evening task list and the second is, rise early, universal, no exception to this. Rise up, get up early in the morning.
Let’s talk about what number three and number four are. This was an interesting one to me, and I’ve got to be honest with you. This number three thing, this is something that I’ve sort of done and I’ll tell you about that in a minute, but it’s something that I haven’t done really a great deal. I love the idea, and so, I’m going to change up my routine just a little bit.
Okay. What is number three? Here we go, number three. Number three is, first thing in the morning … So, all of them had some kind of way to wake up and to invigorate their mind, okay. Invigorating their mind. Again, no outliers here, all of them got up and did something to invigorate their mind and it didn’t, in some cases, include coffee and caffeine, but it didn’t always include. I’m talking about mental exercises. I’m just going to call this … In fact, they did all this the same. I’m going to just say it like they said it.
Walk and read, or I could say listen, before writing. This is really cool. These are great writers, great businesspeople, great successes. By the way, here’s another cool thing that I found, and we can talk about this later. All successful businesspeople that I talk with and deal with, they all spend a considerable amount of their time writing. Writing articles, writing speeches, writing content, writing business plans, writing out ideas. They all write. They just write. They write, they write, they write. It made me feel good, that all successful people are writers. That’s pretty cool. To win, I’ve got to write. That was fun.
They get up and they walk and they read, and this was almost universal. Not all of them walk and not all of them read, but almost all of them do something to invigorate their mind, and so many of them said, “Get out, take a little walk, read through some stuff.” I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is a pattern that I’m going to make this part of the seven things.”
Now, in some cases when they’re not walking and reading, but they’re walking and listening. This was really cool. I thought this was a great idea. I heard this from seven or eight of the people that I talked to. They get up, they grab their iPhone, they’ve got books on tape, motivational stuff, inspirational stuff, education, book. All kinds of really cool personal development type stuff, business development, marketing strategies. The list of stuff that they digest was amazing, because I asked a bunch. I’m like, “Okay, what do you read? What do you listen to?” The list was amazing. They get these books on tape, and they go out for a 15, 20 minute walk. That’s this one thing right here. This is not long times, 15 to 20 minutes. Some of them listen to stuff, and what do they listen to? They’re not listening to romance novels. This is self-help, business development, biz development, personal development, these kinds of things that are designed to make us be better, to grow, to experience more, they listen to them. Now, if they go out and walk and they don’t listen, they occasionally come back in and they read.
All of them, to a T, said, the reason is because in the morning, they’re still kind of waking up, but their brain is fresh. All the distractions of the day are not there, and they can get in and they can wake their brain up and start invigorating their mind so that when they do sit down and start writing, their brain is on fire. They’ve got ideas, things are flowing, they’ve got the creative juices going. They don’t worry about staring at the blank page, because man, they’ve already got up.
It’s an interesting thing. George Washington, Founding Father George Washington, super successful, and John Adams, both of them in their biographies talk about how they would get up and they would go either on a walk or ride a horse around their properties, and they would get out and before they got into serious business, they would wake their body up, invigorate their mind, get lots of oxygen, and enjoy the world around them. This was universal to these people that I talked to.
This is simple. You could walk on a treadmill, you could walk around outside. There’s so many different things that you can do, but a short little brief, not exercise, per se, but just motion. Get moving, move forward, do something. Put your physicality into your day and begin that way so you’re not just a rock stuck somewhere. You’re alive and you’re vibrant and you’re doing stuff. Then, listening to great ideas. I love reading books, I love capturing really, really smart people. They take their whole life and they boil it down.
I once was doing an interview with Mark Ford, and we were talking about his book, “Seven Years to Seven Figures” and his other book, “Ready, Fire, Aim,” and we were talking about marketing ideas and business development ideas. He said it was so funny, there’s an inverse between what people will pay you … he said, “Joshua, all of my very best thinking on business development and success went into these books that I wrote, and yet, you can buy them for $20. If you wanted to hire me to be your coach and tell you what to do, so if you’re too lazy to read the books and implement them, just tell you what to do, then you would pay me thousands and millions of dollars. I give you all the strategies, all the secrets,” and I learned from that conversation that it’s so true.
Really successful people, they take all their best ideas, best practices, best insights, and they put them into books, and a lot of times, we don’t read them. We buy expensive programs, we buy expensive coaching things. We do all these different kinds of things, but these guys, to a T, they’re listening, they’re reading, they’re absorbing. You’d think that they’re so wealthy, they didn’t have to, but it’s just the opposite. They’re so wealthy because they do do it. That’s number three.
Number four. Here’s number four. Number four, and this was universal to all of them, especially the writers, but even all the super successful people. They write one to four hours in the morning. Can you see this cool pattern going on? The night before, sit down and prioritize all your stuff. Wake up really early in the morning, go out there, walk, read, do something, invigorate yourself, and then, then once you’re alive and firing and juiced up and creative, now sit down and just, boom! Write one to four hours. A lot of them break that up. Most of them don’t all sit and write four hours at a stretch, but it’s like, write an hour, take a little break, write another hour, take a little break, write a half hour, take a break, whatever. Whatever your pattern is that you want to do.
Again, we can talk about logistics there, but write one to four hours in the morning. This was common to all of them, and all of them said they all do their best thinking, best writing, best creativity stuff before noon. Before noon. This really cool. This is like, “Gosh, this is an awesome idea.” Here’s the one thing that I want to say, is, all of them, and this is amazing to me as well. I should say almost all of them. There were two or three outliers, but almost all of them did this. Their number one non-urgent, but priority thing that was in their life got one to two hours of writing time. If they were wanting to write a book, and this was going to be their big focus priority, their mission statement would be fulfilled by this book, then that’s the first thing that they wrote. If they were building a business and they had to provide content and articles and stuff, the first thing that they wrote was that stuff, even if it wasn’t urgent, even if it wasn’t priority, even if there were people banging on the door, and especially if people were banging on the door trying to get to them.
They had this vision and this goal about where they wanted to go, and they knew that they needed stuff in order to fulfill that goal, and so they sat down and wrote about it. It might have been their vision statement, their mission plan, whatever it is. One to two hours, first thing, above everything else. All the priority, the urgent stuff that was pressing down on them, they were disciplined to set that aside and focus one to two hours. They all wrote one to four hours in the morning with one to two of those hours focused on their number one priority.
Man, that’s a great lesson for us to learn. I’ve got to fill in my blue stuff over here. Thanks for reminding me.
Number three. What’s number three? I’m just going to put number three, walk and read. Walk and read. Learn, invigorate. Exercise. Not exercise, but just be in motion. Number four was write one to four hours in the morning. One to four hours in the morning. None of them wrote at night, none of them wrote in the afternoon, all of them wrote in the morning.
Now, you might say, if you still have a 9 to 5 job, “I’ve got a 9 to 5 job, I can’t do that.” Yes, you can. Now, 99% of the time, you can, because you can change up your schedule and you can just wake up earlier, and you can put in an hour worth of writing before you go out to the office. You don’t have to do the four hours right now, but one to four hours early in the morning. It’s very important.
Okay. These are our next two major simple habits. Is this complicated? This is not complicated yet. This is super simple. You can go out and walk. You can read. It’s 15 minutes. This is not complicated. You’ve got 24 hours in a day, you can do 15 minutes of this stuff. Write one to four hours. Everyone can write one to four hours consistently every day. Write every day, every day, every day. Write, write, write, write write. Focus on the non-urgent priority stuff. If you’ve got a book inside you, if you’ve got some kind of a training program inside of you, if you’re putting together your information packet in your website. All of these things that need to get done, focus on those first. They’re high-leverage items, they’re priority.
All right. Now we’re going to come back and I’m going to talk about the last three simple habits. Then we’ll do a summary and I’ve got some invitations for you that I’d like you to do, some actions that I’d like you to take, okay? All right. I’ll be back very soon. Thanks for listening.