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Productivity Tips for the Proactive Environmentalist


As part of my book’s ongoing blog tour, I agreed to do a swap with Michael Haynes. He interviewed me on his writing blog, and I’m posting this guest post he wrote, in which he discusses how to apply the productivity principles from his new book, Write Every Day (Amazon link), to environmental activism.

I recently interviewed your regular blogger in relation to his book Royal Flush and he kindly agreed to let me appear on his blog as well. I blog almost entirely about writing; he blogs mostly about environmental issues. And yet, it took me only a brief while to know exactly what I wanted to write about!

Earlier this year, I released a book titled Write Every Day. As you might guess from the title, it’s about, well, ways to develop a routine of writing every day! However, one of the chapters from the book talks about taking the techniques used in developing a Daily Writing Chain and adapting them for other aspects of your life. Here’s the introduction to that chapter:

“The concept of a daily goal chain is one that could easily be used for areas of your life besides writing. Other creative endeavors such as painting or practicing a musical instrument are examples of where you could use a similar routine. Thinking more broadly, it could just as easily be used for anything you want to work at doing every day […].”

And, for those who are passionate about the environment (or, for that matter, any other cause) this absolutely could be something you could use to develop a routine around your participation in activism.

Here are the five bullet points that the chapter about this in Write Every Day focuses on.

  •     Make a commitment.
  •     Make your daily goal reasonable for you and the amount of time you have in your day.
  •     Give yourself options where appropriate.
  •     Remember that slip-ups will happen and be prepared to move on from one broken chain and start a brand new one.
  •     Look for communities around your area of interest.

So, as an example, you might define your daily goal as being “Spend 15 minutes on one of the following tasks: Writing letters to businesspeople and politicians who may influence environmental policy, or Making phone calls to voters on behalf of politicians who will enact better environmental policy, or Writing a letter to the editor for an appropriate publication.” That’s just one example, off the top of my head. There may be much better options for a goal definition for a daily commitment to environmental activism, but I hope that this gives an idea of the basic concept.

Naturally, if you’re interested in reading more about this, I hope that you’ll consider picking up a copy of Write Every Day. But either way, I hope that this gave you something interesting to consider in terms of a way to help build routines in your life in support of the things which you value.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    08/21/2012 7:07 PM

    Good stuff, Michael. A much more succinct (and simpler to follow) variation of the several “time-management” classes I took while in the mainframe computer programming world. Though I see that you, too, are hawking a book on YOUR variation on the theme! ;) :D
    (Sorry, I had to get that little shot in. As Scott can tell you, I’m an incorrigible wise-acre.)

  2. Andrea permalink
    08/22/2012 10:29 PM

    Ooh, just like the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting theory! Emphasis on the “slip-ups will happen” point, for me at least. It takes three months to form a new habit, after all!

    I’m going to pass on the link to your book to my partner, who is currently participating in Camp NaNoWriMo.

    • 08/22/2012 11:31 PM

      Thanks, Andrea! I’m glad you found the post useful and if your partner decides to buy the book I hope that it is a worthwhile purchase.

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