Are you setting yourself up for success?

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I think I’ve finally done it! I think I’ve finally created a system that will help me to get all my work done and at the same time be fully creative. It took me about six years since I’ve been trying to figure it out – and while the answer is simple, I am SO excited that I found it!

I have had the hardest time trying to be creative (and write my blogs, book and screenplay) while at the same time being effective and getting work done. Up until last week I’ve had one computer – a Toshiba. I know… Most people think that the guy who writes TDL MUST be writing on a MAC! But it hasn’t been the case. The words you’ve seen on the blog are all written through a PC. Until now.

And part of my creative breakthrough was indeed getting a MAC. But the MAC itself isn’t what caused the breakthrough.

My habits up until now have been to do everything on one computer. And in one space. But that hasn’t been working because it’s SO hard to be creative and work at the same time. It’s hard to write a book or a screenplay when emails are coming in and that darn red square is lighting up on Facebook to let me know someone did something on the platform.

So, in a meditation I felt that I needed to have a separate machine – a MAC. And so I went online to look at the new MACs and as usual – they were waaaay more expensive than my $400 Toshiba! And it’s the end of the year and I’m paying taxes and all sorts of year end bills plus I’ve been investing majorly in TDL’s expansion – so I didn’t want to spend the money. BUT – then I remembered I had credit card rewards points. And so I cashed ’em in and got a brand new 15 inch Mac Book Pro! It arrived last week and I’ve been writing on it ever since.

And it’s been cool, but I’ve only been writing on it and I’ve been leaving the PC behind. But that’s not cool because all my work is being done on the PC. The whole point was to have ONE place where I was creative and another place where I did work. But the awesomeness of the MAC and the lack of stuff on it was drawing me to stay there and I found myself getting behind on emails and the like.

So, I had my genius – simple – aha moment. And that was to have both computers open and ready. So, now that is what I do. I have a L-shaped desk and so the part of my desk that faces my floor to ceiling windows and all of Hollywood is my creative side. And it’s clear. Then, one turn to the right and I have my work computer facing my giant wall of calendars that span the next 18 months!

And it’s rad. I can be writing – and then have an idea and send an email. Or something comes up and I can take action. And if I’m doing work and have a creative idea – I can pop over to the MAC and jot it down and capture it.

I know it sounds so silly and so simple, but I have never felt more creatively free or productive in my life. It’s only been a few days and I feel like I’ve settled into a new groove. I can express myself AND manifest work at the same time. And the two different computers with different look, feel and purposes helps me stay in the creative or work flow. It’s totally simple and totally liberating.

And I feel like I have set myself up for success on an even greater playing field to be both creative and productive. How can you set yourself up for success today? It doesn’t have to be complicated – it can be a simple change. I’m curious.

As always, the action happens in the comments below, leave a comment and join the conversation! The TDL Community thrives in the comments and it’s a GREAT place to get support!



  • Alva Burroughs

    Hey Mastin, greetings to you and your family. Hope the Christmas is shaping up fine for you. I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your blog this year. Your words and quotes and encouragement shared have meant a lot to me and I look forward to more of it in 2013. I’m not sure if you know this, but I sometimes also use your blog posts or parts of it to encourage others. So, it doesn’t just stay with me. 

    I liked today’s post – naturally!!!   🙂

    But I have a question. I too have been meaning to start writing a script, among other things I do, and always have a battle for time. Sometimes there’s that overwhelming feeling that just seems to pull you down, and I freeze I guess. And don’t do anything. This affects my creativity and success. I know you must experience same. Sometimes, it’s like “where do I start?” And I go blank. How do you as a creative person, deal with these scenarios? What’s your mantra? How do you get things back in your control and achieve a flow?

    I like the idea of the ‘L’ shaped desk, which I presently have at work but not at home. And I guess that really helps. Also, yes I absolutely agree, having one system, preferably a MAC to work from is also a good idea too, and I presently do this and I’m comfortable with it.

    Thank you very much for writing this blog. I certainly do appreciate it.



    Have a wonderful Christmas 2012


  • Kathleen

    That is awesome!!! I am going to do the same thing today with my (awesome) Mac and PC, and I am also going to assign my iPad and iPhone “jobs”. Love it!

  • susan

    I’ve really grown from reading TDL this difficult year of mine. In my new apartment I’m setting up a standard style desk with a nearby file cabinet for bills, papers and stuff like that and a long table with open shelves next to it for creative work (I’m a collage artist). I just recently realized how separate areas, even in the same room can be helpful. I hope this works for me. I think the two biggest challenges will be 1) scheduling all the different functions of a typical week and 2) keeping all the items in their places as creative projects tend to migrate to the living room and important papers and mail seem to collect on the kitchen table. Time to make some new habits. Happy New Year to you Mastin.

  • TheDailyLover

    Mastin, i love this, thank you.  i’m thinking i need to do the same thing, i would love a new PC just for my music writing, i have taking music tech classes, want a piano keyboard hooked into a new PC, there are times i have ideas and nowhere to bring it out, put it down on paper, and feeling that my one pc is not the best way to go.  thank you for sharing and inspiring me.  I feel you are encouraging everyone to be creative, just the fact that you are sharing your ideas as they come through, lift us all up.  this is love in action. thank you!

  • I am glad you found your system. I feel like you have to do what works for you. I am a master at procrastination and any little thing can give me an excuse that can delay me from hours to days. It’s a habit that I am trying to work on. I am also someone that opens up 5 different tabs at one time and I can distract myself if I want to. I’ve tuned in to my feelings and I can feel myself procrastinating. I recognize the fear and I use it as an indicator to dive in. I force myself to do whatever I am procrastinating about. Distraction, I haven’t mastered that one yet. While I am typing this, I looked up and saw that I have 2 likes on Facebook and I felt the pull to click on it. LOL. One thing that I found was wonderful for me was to have a monitor or a couple monitors. I’m not a MAC user, but now I am curious. But, on Windows, you can send a part of your screen to the monitor and have something completely different on your laptop screen. It works wonders for me. I don’t feel like I am ignoring anything, but the act of it being open makes me feel better. We are strange creatures. We just have to figure out how to make that strangeness work for us instead of against us. 

  • Hmmmm….my birthday is around the corner. I have a MAC in my office and since I was willing to be, “The Daily Commenter,” I ask myself…”What am I going to do when I am out of town?” I am NOT a computer person at all. And, here I am…on it , ALL DAY LONG. So, “How do I set myself up for success? I need to stop treating the computer like an unforgiven enemy. I need to breathe and relax every time the circle of death appears. I need to stop asking my husband (who also resists the computer) for help the minute something goes wrong. I need to stop judging him when he doesn’t know what to do. In order to do that, I need to stop judging myself first. I remember reading that Louise Hay went through a similar challenge. I also need a system where I put all my thoughts and quotes…instead of on tiny notes of paper scattered ALL over my desk.  Change requires Change…and it is timely for me to do so. If any of you have suggestions, I would appreciate it. Thanks Mastin for the reminder!

    The Daily Commenter,
    Kathleen Chelquist

    • daily reader

      That’s funny…my husband calls me for help everytime something goes a wry on the computer.  If I can’t fix it or help, it is as if he suspects I’m withholding information. I will share your comment with him so he knows he is not alone.  
      If you have a smart phone, try the Notes App for your random thoughts, quotes, etc., while on the go.  

  • Jo

    You pose a good question…thank you for encouraging me to take a closer look at maximizing my various devices to help me unclutter my brain for improved productivity. Wow…so many big words I’m using this morning!

  • Cherise

    Evernote is my creative space…it had saved my brain from being so clutters with ideas and inspiration.

  • Katherine M. Tatlow

    I don’t know if I am ever going to live a spiritual life or maybe I am making it too complicated. I am partially taking in The New Earth. I still find myself agree a lot. I am trying to pay attention to my emotion and look at them. Its not at easy ad it sounds. I keep saying to myself that my life is not a garbage dump (a part of a quote from The Heart of The Soul. Its also hard that in itself it makes me barges.

  • Bobbie Kingsbury

    I can’t believe you’re just now getting a Mac. I have to tell you, once you go MAC you never go back. You’ll find yourself aggravated with the PC very soon. I have had a Mac since 2007 and now I don’t know how I ever lived without one. I will cry a river if my Mac ever breaks down. I work on a PC everyday at work (no choice since it’s not mine) and I hate it. I have to do a virus scan every day several times a day. It freezes up. It’s constantly under cyber attack. The PC crashes and I have to restart all the time. It sucks. That never happens in Mac world. Macs are a happy place. They are a smart computer that works seamlessly. I will be really surprised if you continue to use your PC 6 months from now. You’re better off getting another Mac. Maybe a mini or a desktop model. 
    I’m glad you’ve joined the land of Apple. It truly is a happy place. Let the good times roll Mastin.

  • Brenda

    Congrats, Mastin and your new relationship with MAC!  Split work mode for a split personality?  Of course not.  More like multi-dimensional for your many talents.

    Setting myself up for 2013 success begins with my Epiphany last week.  I got really angry about a text message received while I was driving to the office.  Realizing how livid I was, I started wondering why, remembering the days when I was very cool headed, quite and even tempered.  Why am I now so vocal and mad so much of the time anymore?  I traced my behavior and realized I have been starting my days listening to talk radio, most of which was politics, has been altogether toxic for my psyche.

    Like any ‘habit’ I am weaning myself away from politics and opinions,  now more aware as to its effects, turning it off sooner than later.  Since there’s nothing that can be done about “it” and success is all about focus, I’m committed to forget about that which is not within my control and focused totally on what I can “make happen” in my world, my business.

    Thanks for asking!

  • Kev

    First day reading TDL, and in reading various Mastin posts and an hours worth of comments I’m simply more in awe of Louise Hay than ever. It’s truly unreal how much she has given to the world, and the endless amount of others who owe their career to her. Creators of blogs like this are so blessed to have the knowledge that came from her in the form of books and movies…. An entire industry . Wow what a lady!