Every day I prepare a list of at least 10 ideas around a single topic. I’ve been doing this since 1/28/2017. I’m currently working on building an application where users can generate lists like the ones I create each day. The site will be located at IdeaListz.com and will seek to create a network of open minded, creative people who look to share and create ideas.

Since I haven’t posted anything but weekly updates on here for a while, I thought it’d be fun to publish my IdeaList from today here on dev-eryday. Dev-eryday is all about repeatedly getting after it. Every day I’m working on becoming a better developer. Be it through reading, watching tutorials, reading articles, writing code, and anything else, dev-eryday is all about committing to getting after it every day.

The following is the IdeaList from today. Each day the structure is the same. There’s a title which is essentially the topic followed by a brief description then at least 10 ideas about the topic. Enjoy.

Ways to Repeatedly Get After It

Some days you just don’t have it. Maybe something is on your mind or you’re just not feeling well, whatever the case may be, you have to keep on moving. Life isn’t going to stop just because you aren’t feeling up to the challenge. It’s imperative to keep on moving forward. I started making IdeaLists on January 28, 2017. That’s 256 days ago. It’s amazing that I’ve put together a list of at least 10 items every single day for 256 straight days. Some days I don’t want to come up with lists and it’s challenging produce but I stick with it and get it done regardless. Streaks like this do not happen by accident. They come through extreme discipline.

  1. Just Do - Don’t try to do something. Go out and do it. Just this evening I got home around 7:20 PM after dinner. It was dark, wet, and chilly. I didn’t want to go out and run but I did it anyways and I feel great now. I went out and did it.

  2. Break Off the Smallest Possible Chunk - Do the smallest possible thing you can think of that will move you forward. For a software project this can be as simple as writing a unit tests or planning how to complete a user story. For a workout you could start with a single push up. This small chunk will be converted into momentum. Momentum will lead to results.

  3. Burn Out Can Be Overcome - I don’t think I’ve ever been burned out. I consistently vary the things I’m working on in order to keep everything fresh. Sprinkle in breaks and stay active. Stretch often if you’re working on something that requires sitting down. You don’t have to be at a keyboard in order to think.

  4. Results Are the Reward - Recognize that results of hard work are the reward. A lot of people will seek money or recognition for the work that they do. Those things are good, but they are a byproduct of the results. Keep pushing forward and the results will bring rewards beyond what you originally dreamed of.

  5. Define Your Values - Define what you stand for and live by it. If sticking to your principles is important to you do whatever it takes to live by them. By defining your values and living by them, it becomes easier to stick with whatever it is you’ve decided to do. When getting after it is a key value the stakes for actually getting after it will be high.

  6. Associate With Others Who Get After It - Find a community of people who value some of the same things you do. By finding others who get after it, you will be surrounded by people who can help reinforce those qualities in you.

  7. Believe In the Process - In medicine, prevention over the long term often beats taking the cure for short term effects. Prevention likely isn’t relevant when you start doing the action, but over time it has an amazing effect, one in which you might never need the cure. Getting after it, like prevention, may not have a payoff today or tomorrow, but some day its benefit will be clear. You will know that all the time spent pushing was worth it. Until that time, you’ve got to believe in the process.

  8. Apply Successful Techniques Everywhere - If you find something that works in one area of life, apply the technique to another area. Many of the same principles for getting better in one area can be applied to another.

  9. There’s Always More in the Tank - No matter how much you’ve given, there is more in the tank. I’ve found that through generating ideas every day, there are always more ideas out there. Sure, I might exhaust a topic from time to time, but ideas constantly evolve. Even if I exhaust a topic one week, I could probably make a new list about it the next with several new ideas. Sure, my experience with generating ideas is anecdotal, but it seems to hold true for most intellectual and physical challenges.

  10. Find Someone Doing More, Look Up to Them - Sometimes you’ll need a little inspiration. Find others who are creating and know that if they can be so productive, there’s no reason you can’t too.