Building

I’m great at making statements and promises about things that I want to do. It’s easy. I think of something I wish to do, decide there and then a means by which to do it, then post to my blog declaring it in the public domain.

In principle it’s a good tactic. The public declaration should be enough of a motivation to make sure I stick to something, but the reality is that more often than not I fall short. I might stick to it for a couple of weeks, but then life will happen and that’s it, the idea slides out of existence. Why? Because of a lack of discipline.

When it comes to discipline I’ve generally been quite good when it comes to doing something that really matters, or something that I have to do. The trouble was when it came to doing something I wanted to do, like writing for this site. So as part of getting back into it, I’ve been taking little steps, to build integrity, trust and discipline.

Integrity

Building integrity with myself is critical. The number of times I’ve set out with an aim to do something, then not succeeded to do it are countless, and this carries over into starting new things. Whilst the intention and desire can be strong, the belief that I can do it less so. It’s been erroded by years of unfulfilled promises to myself about starting to write on a regular basis.

The trick, I’ve discovered is to start small. It’s not a new technique, but I testify that it’s starting to work. I started with The Week in Links, my weekly post sharing a few links to good articles or interesting things that I’ve seen around the internet over the week. As of the time of writing, I’ve now posted an edition of that post for nineteen weeks running. I’ve built integrity with myself that I can post to this site on a regular basis, on a schedule I decided and wanted to commit to.

Trust

Now I have built some integrity and belief that I can do something I want to do and not just something I have to do. I’m building trust in myself that I can actually do it. I trust that I can manage the rest of my day well enough, to be able to set aside time to write.

Discipline

The trust in myself that I can do this, builds the discipline that I need to actually do it. Having established a pattern of turning up each week to post The Week in Links, I’m now disciplined enough to carve out that time each week to make sure I keep doing it.

It’s a knock on effect, or maybe more of a circular cycle. The more belief that I have in sticking by my stated intentions, builds the trust I need to be able to make those intentions in the first place. In turn, that builds the discipline I need to execute those intentions, thus giving myself more belief. It’s why this week I’ve added another step into my morning routine so that I can be sat here at my desk and do a half hour of writing before my work day begins. Not only am I building trust that I can work on writing for my site with regularity, I’m also building trust that I can get up and go through my morning routine with the time to do all that I both want and need to do.

Of course there is another side to this. If I do miss one of my carved out writing slots, I must not give myself a hard time about it. Life happens and I won’t always get to do these things. When that’s the case I need to be able to say nevermind, reset and go again the next day remembering that for the past however many days I’ve been able to do it.

The Week in Links

Another new week, another edition of The Week in Links. This week has been a good week with the launch of some updates to a client’s website and a new homepage for 18TWO, so my evenings have been filled with some relaxation and bike riding. Consequently there’s a good number of links for you to devour over your lunchtime coffee, covering MacBook, Apple Watch, photography, product design, workspaces, writing and finishing off with some cycling.

The Focus Course

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE WHEN IT COMES TO FOCUS?

I’ve been following Shawn and his blog for years. He was one of the first people I met when I started my first blog way back in 2006, whether he’s aware of it or not he’s been one of the people who’ve inspired me the most in the last ten years. It’s no surprise to me then how postively his new project,The Focus Course, has been met. I’ve been following with interest over the last year as he’s been putting it together and the content he’s be creating around it has been his best yet. Pretty sure the course will be even better.

Barriers

Barriers are a strange thing. In the real world they exist to form a separation, a physical division between two things. They can be permanent or temporary, but they exist for a specific reason. Their purpose though, is always the same, to prevent you from going somewhere you shouldn’t.

In the mental world things are slightly different. Barriers exist of course, but for different reasons, though their purpose is similar to their real world counterparts, they stop you going somewhere or doing something. The trouble is, they aren’t physical and that makes them immeasurably harder to overcome.

Eighteen weeks ago I started posting a weekly article with a collection of links to interesting articles I’ve read during the week. I started it because I wanted to get back into writing for my blog. I thought having a regular post to commit to would remove the barrier that I seemed to have errected over the last couple of years. To a degree it’s worked, posting to my blog regularly has helped me to rebuild my interest in it, it’s helped me to establish a desire to post, but it hasn’t removed the barrier.

For the last few weeks I’ve started each week with the aim that this week would be the one that gets me writing a post a week. Several times I’ve drafted something, but each time I’ve failed to publish it. Fear seems to be the barrier preventing me from clicking that button. That little voice that says “No one will read it, no one really cares what you have to say” squarks away as my mouse hovers over the publish button.

So I’ve decided, this week is going to be the week that I breakdown that barrier. The little voice will be silenced and I will post an article every Wednesday from here on out. It is a challenge, but one I want. I have no idea what I will post about, but as Shawn Blanc says I have ideas it’s just a case of letting them grow and taking a bit of action on some of them, regardless of whether they are good or bad, as well as having a bit of courage to press publish at the end of it.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links covers a rande of topics. There’s the usual dose of Apple things, some thoughts from Shawn Blanc on focus and creativity, an obituary to one of the greatest type designers of all time, a moving video from Israel and a moving story from the Welsh valleys.

With the edition also falling on Father’s Day it would be remiss not to mention my Dad. So just a quick note to him to say thanks for being my Dad, you support me, you help me and you guide me and as well as being my Dad you’re also a great friend. Have a beer on me tonight!

The Week in Links

The latest edition is a bit late in arriving. I’ve tried something a bit different this week, just adding a few thoughts to each link. Enjoy some Monday lunchtime reading.

  • Initial Thoughts on iOS 9’s iPad Multitasking: A Deep Transformation
    Thanks to iOS 9, I put The Talk Show’s video player in a floating popup, opened Twitterrific, and continued watching. When I wanted to take notes, I swiped from the right edge of the screen and I started typing in Notes – all while still watching the video and having Twitterrific open at the same time. It all felt natural, and it was glorious.

This is one of the things that’s intrigued me the most about the iOS 9 announcements. Apple paid the iPad some much needed attention and it grew up, making it an extremely compelling device once again.

  • The Apple Watch
    I’ve been waiting for this review from Ben Brooks, he’s waited and spent time with the device for publishing his thoughts to the world. What’s interesting to me is that the Watch seems to be genuinely helping people become less connected, and to have more space and time away from their more intrusive devices. I was convinced the Watch would just be even more intrusive.

  • Building an audience — Matt Gemmell
    There’s not much to add about this, other than a big YES!

I’ve been writing on the web since 2005, one of the biggest regrets I have is that I let that first blog die out and it’s posts disappear into oblivion. Building an audience takes time, and it’s taking a long time to rebuild it.

  • MessageKit
    I really the concept outlined in this post on Medium. I have a load of apps installed on my iPhone that only get used occasionally. It doesn’t play well on a 16GB device, this seems like a great solution. With natural language coming in Spotlight on El Capitan, maybe it’s not a far off idea…

The Week in Links

The sun has been shining here this weekend and I’ve been out on the bike I enjoying it. Consequently this weeks edition of The Week in Links is a bit later than usual. There’s still some interesting reads to enjoy with your Sunday evening glass of beer or wine!

The Week in Links

Issue 15 of The Week in Links is a very visual one. Photography is at the heart of it, with photo stories from a trip to Vancouver, an Apple Watch review, different ways a design team uses notebooks and the story of one of my favourite cycling races. Enjoy!

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links is an eclectic mix. The history of Japanese business culture, workspaces, Ethiopia, Apple Watch and a look into designing a typeface to represent a nation to the world.