Thanks to the internet, everyone has a voice. And with millions of voices flooding the social sphere, both good and bad content is being published every second. In general, the great content rises to the top and the bad content gets lost in the shuffle. I've been blogging for a little over a year and, believe me, I've had plenty of posts get lost in the shuffle and it's no fun. Do you want people to read what you have to say?
After writing three 1,000+ word posts each week for over a year, I've slowly hammered out a reliable method to structure a post that creates a natural flow for the reader and makes it easier on you, the author.
Anyone who has ever traveled by airplane can understand the frustration that can come with it. The woman ahead of you in the check-in line can’t find her ID. You’re randomly chosen for a pat-down by the friendly TSA officers. As you’re rushing to your gate, it seems like everyone in front of you is taking a Sunday stroll.
“Why is it that people turn into gawking idiots in airports when I’m in a hurry?!” indignant, you think to yourself as you weave through the terminal. Your blood pressure is rising as you arrive at the gate to find your flight is delayed. For ten minutes more. Excuses. It’s delayed an hour now. Looks like you’re going to have to really rush to catch your connecting flight. Naturally, you don’t get the window seat you wanted, and you’re sitting next to Mr. Important-Laptop-Using-Businessman-Armrest-Hog (side note: don’t be that guy).
In software design, there's a principle referred to as the Robustness Principle which states: "Be conservative in what you send, be liberal in what you accept."
In a design context, this is referring to your inputs and outputs. You should accept any and all input information as long as its meaning is clear but you should only send information out that is according to the specifications of the software. This allows you to always have plenty of data, never lacking in the back-end but only pushing out that which is valuable and representative of the output specs. Though it originated in an industry in which I have zero experience or understanding, the concept, I've found, is very practical and applicable to many other aspects of life.
Habits and routines are a fascinating way in which the mind conserves its energy and stamina. By putting certain tasks on rails, the mind can tune out and rest on autopilot. It's your body's natural way of guarding against burnout by noon. Tasks that are trivial such as driving to work, taking a shower or fixing your cup of coffee are habitualized quickly which is why you sometimes find yourself pulling up at work without remembering the drive to get there. It's muscle memory. Let's say you're on your way to work and you see a wreck up ahead and the traffic is beginning to back up pretty heavily. Your mind suddenly switches off autopilot and takes control again, recalculating the best route to work based on your familiar with the surrounding streets, how much time you have to get to work, the weather, the density of traffic and a host of other factors. The wreck gave your mind the jolt it needed to get back to work.