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Mila Szolkowska / productivity  / What can you learn from repeating one thing every day?

What can you learn from repeating one thing every day?

As you might or might not have seen before on the blog, there was a lot of content added before Christmas. In the end of November I decided to publish daily until Christmas. Today I want to tell you a bit more about my motivations, preparations, process, and lessons learned from it.

Motivations

One of the things that made me do it was that my blog was full of virtual dust. Even though I enjoy writing a lot, my consistency of posting was hmm… let’s just call it questionable. Publishing content on the Internet can be scary. At least it was for me. Once the text is published, you don’t have any impact on who is going to read it. A few weeks back, it would give me gooseflesh. Reading it a couple of times and sending it to friends for double checking helped, but the entire process was quite long.

So this Counting down to Christmas project was supposed to make it easier to publish new posts, but as well help expressing my thoughts in writing and visual forms.

I had some considerations related to it, especially to the topic. Writing about Christmas can be quite trivial and also there is only this much that can be said about the customs, traditions, and your own experiences. But on the other hand, that had a good impact on my publishing process, because you don’t have to care so much about the quality of research since, after all, you write about your own opinions. And with a little pride I feel like publishing does not take as long as it used to and I got rid of that weird stomach feeling when doing it.

Another thing that this project helped with was consistency of bringing posts to the blog. In this case, telling it to my friends as well as writing it on the blog made it so there was no way back from making it.

The preparations

After deciding that I was going to do it, I brainstormed a long list of topics. If I remember correctly there were around 30. This let me have a good basis for the entire process. Not assigning them to particular days allowed to choose each day what I would like to write about.

I also looked at folders with my photos to see if I could use some of the already taken photos that would match the topics.

The process

The entire process was enjoyable. It showed me what I like and dislike about writing and taking photos.

I started the series from the topics that I found easier than the others, according to the small steps rule. There were also some topics that required brainstorms and research, as well as some DIY projects that I would only have time to try out during weekends. There were many that simply did not work out and did not make it to the blog.

The crucial thing was to start each day knowing what I will be writing about. That gave me some time to think about it during the day.

And also to get a good idea if I would have to take some photos or be able to find something suitable from the photos that I have already taken. Since I have a daily job, I had to plan most of the photos to be done during weekends.

Lessons learned

  1. Repeating something for many days in a row makes it familiar and easy to do it again and again.
  2. Preparation is key, having a good basis makes it so you do not have to start from the scratch but instead, just fill in the blanks.
  3. Photos should be well planned and scheduled, so you don’t have to do that in the evenings (unless you want to use the flash light). This is important especially if you have daily job.
  4. Changing topics is ok. Even if you have half of a draft done but you don’t feel that it is going in a good direction, it is better to change it instead of sticking to the one that does not feel right.
  5. Leaving writing to the end of the evening is not the best idea. There is a lot of stress to finish it out and also, is it really good idea to post so late?
  6. It would be great to write more posts beforehand to schedule them to be posted at the same time of the day.

Summary

This project taught me that you can easily get better at doing something if you will commit to do something daily for longer periods of time. I have already started to think about what kind of project could be next.

How about you, is there anything that you want to be better at? Would you consider doing it daily for a couple of days in a row?