Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

How I Trick Myself into Writing Every Day

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.
Nov 2 · 2 min read

I love the process of writing. I love expressing my thoughts and then clarifying and sharing them. I love inspiring people. I’ve even already done pretty well at making a name for myself as an author.

But I have struggled with writing every day. By the time I’ve meditated, exercised, and gotten ready for work, I often feel that there isn’t time. I believe that I need to get started on my day job as an engineer. So then I miss out on writing; I short-change myself.

What I’ve found is that after I write I’m more inspired and motivated to do everything else. I might feel that I don’t have time to meditate, but I never regret meditating. The same is true of writing. This is my passion. I never regret writing.

So the trick is to decide that, before I start work, I will spend a few minutes every day writing. Even a few minutes of moving an article towards completion feels good. What often happens, however, is that a few minutes turns into thirty minutes, or an hour, or a couple of hours. I get deeply engrossed, and I get into a flow state. Then I often write a whole article in one sitting.

And once that’s done, I’m happy to work late to get more done at my job. I’m more able to get into a flow state with solving engineering problems and coding. It’s true that I’m lucky enough to have a lot of time flexibility in my work, and I’m grateful for that.

This is a general rule for making progress on anything, particularly on things you might be avoiding for one reason or another: just commit to spending a few minutes on it at regular intervals.

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.

Written by

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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