In the Zone

The writing environment is sacred

Every Second Counts (Regardless of Where You Are in Life)

Think about it…

Time is ticking.

Every second of your life is spent doing something…

You’re living out your life as best as you can.

It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at.

Time is ticking.

This week’s newsletter is focused on how to get the most out of your time on any task or endeavor you put your mind to…

Let’s dig in!

Go with the Flow

“Flow” is the most powerful force in the universe…

At least when it comes to productivity and success!

I’m sure you’ve experienced in your life…numerous times, in fact!

It’s possible to achieve it on command.

It’s not easy, though…

At all…

especially if you are a 9-5 parent!

You are a god among insects if you can consistently achieve this with that lifestyle!

There is a trick to it, though…

Here are three things that help me to get close to that godliness these days:

  1. A consistent routine before I start the process

  2. A structured format to drop into when I begin

  3. A gradual way to wrap things up and start the next time

Grab your shovel and helmet (with the light) because we are digging in!

We’ll use writing as an example since it’s what I’m mainly interested in these days…

Build the Routine

For me, my best time to write is after everyone is asleep!

…And I mean EVERYONE!

  • Kids

  • Cats

  • Wife

  • Dogs

  • Neighbors

Everyone!

…I’m Batman.

Anyway, I set a routine to pre-game even before I get to the environment.

Here’s my routine:

  • Kids get a bath.

  • Wife gets a hug and kiss

  • Everyone goes to bed at around 9:30 PM

Everyone is fed, happy, and tired.

I am tired most days as well…

A little sacrifice is needed!

Pick your poison…there’s a price to be paid if you’re as busy as I am.

Once everyone has gone to bed, that’s when I head to my Batcave.

Ok, it’s just an office…but it’s dark and I have two monitors…close enough!

With the pre-gaming out of the way, I jump into the main event!

Trust the Process

Once I’m settled into my chair and I have some water (no caffeine…I usually regret it the next day), I begin:

  • fire up Tweet Hunter

  • fire up Leonardo.AI

  • fire up Hemingway

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Your mileage may vary, but what I’m saying is that the mise en place process must be executed.

All tools need to be ready to go!

Again, no caffeine or it will show in your writing!

I open up my journal, Notion, and my phone notes.

That’s my system for writing…develop a system for yourself on whatever you’re doing.

Then…

I go fishing…and the bait is how I feel AT THE MOMENT.

Focus on the task or activity that most matches your general mood…

or do the opposite if you’ve had a particularly rough day.

Results will vary, but this is how I do it.

For writing, I go with the stream-of-consciousness approach…

Just write. Don’t edit.

Tap. Tap, Tappity Tap.

Taking breaks is a good idea every 25 minutes or so (Pomodoro technique).

Systems and routines build into different activities make this pretty painless.

Some things are better left alone for a day or two to edit later for me.

There are some pieces of content that are ready right then and there.

Tweets are ready to go after some edits.

Threads take more time, though…

This newsletter may make it into the process.

After about two or three hours, the session ends…

That’s a Wrap

At this point, I take stock of what I’ve done for the night…

Tweets and threads are scheduled a day to a few days in advance.

This is an art form.

As with all art forms, you need to practice regularly!

I don’t care what it is you’re doing!

You need a consistent schedule to improve and hone your skills!

Doing something once a week isn’t going to help you improve much.

That being said, a little bit of front-loading doesn’t hurt…

Scheduling is for emergencies (and there are PLENTY for 9-5 parents like me)!

Ideally, you have a buffer of up to a week, but if you’re on a roll, this could be more!

At least that’s the dream.

Anyway, have something ready to work on for the next session.

A tweet or two or a thread that you may edit…or a newsletter for the bold and brave.

Shut everything down and let it all go.

It’s enough.

Go live your life.

Or sleep - I mean go out and fight crime (I’m Batman).

That’s a wrap…I don’t know why it’s such a popular phrase on Twitter threads…

I haven’t seen it on Threads…yet!

The Takeaway

So to recap:

Develop an environment that is best suited to your writing needs:

  1. A consistent routine

  2. A structured system

  3. A way to withdraw and close

Don’t over-complicate it! I know you are over-achievers…we’re already pulled thin as it is!

That’s why we’re 9-5 parents…we love over-achieving.

Here’s this week’s actionable exercise:

Think about your hobby or passion and how you go about getting into the flow state…

  • Do you have a pre-game or prep routine?

  • Is there structure to how you go about your practice?

  • What are the things that you set about accomplishing for yourself?

If you’re on this writing journey, having a similar setup to mine may help you as much as it has for me…

If not, definitely find your own (or you can reach out to me and ask for feedback).

This is the third exercise in writing analysis.

Thought of the week:

An Inspirator practices what is preached to those who would listen and take action…

And I apologize for not delivering on another Hormozi nugget this week as I said I would…next week I’ll be picking something from him for sure, but this thread challenge is kicking my butt!

…So yes, I punted a bit and ran back to my mine since I’ve dug much farther in!

Ah well…I need a small break…where did that mango go??

Vince

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about my writing challenges, let me know!

P.P.S. Writing is addictive.