I have a theory, the most sure-fire way to be good at something is to be consistent at it. And the more you are consistent with something the larger gap that you create between you and your competitors. Everyone who you know is good at something(X) has probably been doing X, or a version of X for more than a while now.
But, you may ask, how to be consistent when the end goal is large or the task itself is large? The solution is to break down your goal into clearly defined & atomic tasks, and repeating an even more reduced version of that task for everyday, till you make progress on your goal.
Mike Critter explains it on his blog here, “Tiny habits. No, like TINY tiny.“
And, which set of tasks from these should you be practicing at a time? The ones you’re bad (relatively worse) at.
Taking this from the essay on deliberate practise, the best way to optimise consistency is to prioritize the things which you’re worse at, or where you can have improvement.
Breaking this down for myself, let’s take the example of the act of writing itself. I started writing by publishing larger articles to publications. These used to be code-heavy articles and so used to take 1-2 months to write, edit and publish. However, I figured out rather than writing for someone else I wanted to write to grow my own audience.
The first problem was that writing articles weekly was difficult for me. So, I initially started with writing an article every 2 weeks, I could pick up ideas throughout the week, experiment with them a bit and then write at the end of 2 weeks.
However, for a newsletter (which is what I’m aiming at growing), a weekly model makes more sense to keep your readers engaged, and also keep your writing muscles trained. My problem with writing weekly was that I couldn’t find the words to think about at the end of the week, when you are generally in a relaxed mood and might only be in the mood of chilling. (There are benefits of not ending your week with “nothing”, as explained by patio11 here.)
So, to break this habit down, I currently write only 200 words every day. This is a tiny enough habit that by the time I’m done with 200 words, I already have the next 200 words thought of, and they just flow onto the page.
I also automatically stopped procrastinating when I tried to achieve only the bare minimum every day.
The other way to stop procrastinating is turning off the internet, which no-one tells you about. – @hipreetam93
And so, that’s how I’m applying consistency for writing.
How is it a moat?
Just look at everyone you admire, or look at the people who’re good in a field, and research their history 🙂
Anyways, go out there, make mistakes of ambitions not of sloth, and finish your damn business EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Also published at https://dev.to/thewritingdev/consistency-as-a-moat-1770
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