Writing as The ONE Thing. Dealing with distractions.

John Boyter
8 min readJun 20, 2023

Focus on one thing. Makes everything else easier and some things even unnecessary. However, not with a real estate transaction overseas on my mind and some days the one thing seems more like drinking too much coffee and eating cakes, candy and chocolate. Those distractions come, in the way of the writing, that I want to focus on.

Productive habits

Last year I listened to the audiobook version of The ONE Thing by Gary Keller about how purpose leads to priority and priority leads to productivity. Now I felt like it was a good idea to revisit it and listen to parts of it again. From the book what I have liked the most and have adopted is, that instead of working towards being “disciplined,” one should work towards having certain productive habits. When people have clear, productive habits and routines, their lives will eventually become simpler, it says in the book. The only way I can become productive is building a habit of writing. And not by trying to write specific hours every day for instance.

Building a habit of writing

Maybe I first have to do something else or exercise but I always try to write and read. So I end up doing it more and more time on average every day. Focusing on The One Thing, is a method to become good at something. If you try to do many things you don’t become good at anything it says in the book. I was certainly never good at multitasking. When I tried multitasking or got caught up in it unintentionally, it almost always ended in failure or just poor results. I am hoping to finally have learned from that.

Spending a couple of weeks in England

Enjoying now a couple of weeks in Kent, which is good as an inspiration for writing and especially for learning. I try to meet with other people who write and I did in Canterbury and in London. In Kent I go for long walks in nature and this way I am trying to restart my exercise program and walking in the countryside is the only option while I am here. Maybe I can build a strong habit both around writing and exercise. But my habit of writing is turning out to be the strongest until now as I have been able to continue that at some level consistently. I now write a blog/newsletter monthly and plan to publish e-books to expand on the topics I write about. This is my fourth edition of my blog/newsletter.

No more attempts at International business

My “International” career in real estate and business is finally over. So that will not distract me anymore. With “International” I mean having properties in Miami, Cayman Islands and in the Dominican Republic and working for several years having a real estate brokerage in Santo Domingo. I have closed this chapter now with selling the property I had in Miami. It was long overdue as I wasn’t going there anymore. I only went there briefly in March 2020 where I quickly had to leave again because of the pandemic. In this case I was lucky with waiting as the price had gone up. Finally, it had appreciated substantially.

No more Miami

I really have enjoyed spending time in Miami and I went there often several years back. I even considered moving there, but the opportunity was never really there. Now I am out priced as I couldn’t afford it now. I won’t miss going there and especially not the complicated politics. Messi arriving in Miami can’t make up for that. You have the Florida state politics which I don’t find very appealing. Then there is the support of Trump which seems to increase in that part of the United States. I find it so fake with the Latin American immigrants jumping on the Trump bandwagon. Finally, there is the Miami-Cuba conflict which seems to never end. Miami has grown a lot and real estate will probably keep going up for a long time. But there is always this talk of who is the next group of investors coming in. Something I also heard now in London where apparently now it’s Americans. I am not sure why it is, but It just occurred to me there in some places is always this talk of the next wave of investors coming in. Something you never hear in Denmark.

Real estate in the Caribbean

I never had any problems when buying real estate getting a clear title and the transactions also always went well with me getting the funds without any problems when selling. And I was good at picking the right locations in the market. The problems I had were during the holding period. Construction which I tried in the Cayman Islands was a disaster. Any type of property management wasn’t for me. And I wasn’t sure anymore why I had bought the property in those locations with only the Dominican Republic turning out to be lasting. I have kept my property in Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. For now, I am able to hold on to it and I will enjoy having it for a couple of years at least. That’s another place that has been good for my writing. Especially for inspiration. But I doubt my writing will ever become profitable enough to keep my property there in the long term. I am going there in August and hoping to finish my first e-book there.

Exercise as The ONE Thing. Healthy lifestyle.

When last year I took part in a rehabilitation program after a heart attack and then followed up with my own exercise program, going to a fitness studio and to swimming, exercise became for some time my one thing. So much that I neglected making writing the focus. My exercise routine went well until a trip to the Dominican Republic in February. And at first it went ok there during February with some swimming and walks on the beach. Then coming back to Denmark it went well at first returning to the gym and some swimming. It turns out though that focusing on two main things is hard. At least it is for me. I started to write more and there were some distractions. Then I almost stopped with the exercise routine. My challenge from now on will be to make both equally important. But wait, that is focusing on two main things and not just “the one thing”. An enormous challenge. For me at least. Can I both increasingly write more and at the same time live a healthier lifestyle especially including exercise daily.

Avoiding distractions and writing from anywhere.

The author of “The One Thing”, says in order to achieve our goals, we should know to avoid things that serve only as distractions. These things are here not to get us closer to our goals, but to distract us from achieving them, by wasting our time, resources and energy. It’s a contradiction that I feel I need to travel and change location to get inspiration and improve my writing and to become more productive. For some people that would maybe be a distraction. For now my experience has been that when I am in Aarhus, Denmark I tend to research more and improve the technical side of my writing and my writing and marketing platform. In England I try to meet people who write and this is both educational and inspirational. Then last February when I was back in the Dominican Republic I noticed more people read my blog when I wrote from there and about there. So it seems to me that in the longer term I have to include more travel for inspiration and to make my blog/newsletter sufficiently interesting.

Getting through a depression

Since, March I couldn’t focus on both exercise and writing. So at least I could improve my writing and this way I worked myself out of depression. I listened to videos to improve my writing, and I finished what I called an e-book preview and posted it as my first newsletter edition, also sending it out to my email contact list. It gave me some confidence as it felt like a first minor success with my writing. Finishing something. I don’t fall into lasting depressions anymore and I hope that is something permanent. Occasionally I do feel suddenly very unwell but it doesn’t last too long. I can feel awful but then just a few hours later relax and enjoy a coffee. I have been concerned though about those moments of not feeling well.

My blog/newsletter “Newsletter John Boyter”.

Every day I try to write and spend some time during the week learning tools and reading material relevant to my writing. Recently starting and developing my newsletter has become my main thing. My blog has transitioned into a longer blog/newsletter and my short blog on social media is now either an introduction to or a resume of the newsletter. It is a free newsletter and I try to publish the free newsletter twice a month. Based on feedback around the idea of a paid newsletter I am reconsidering that. My blog/newsletter will be more or less in the same length and form as it is now. Around, the same topics I have been covering. About starting and learning to write. Life in the Dominican Republic and Denmark. Mental health and healthy lifestyle and mental health while traveling. My target audience is probably a tiny niche market but it could be anywhere where the primary language is English or English is a strong second language.

Paid version of newsletter or a series of e-books

My newsletter could be more news and events and maybe profiles of some people I met that I find interesting. It may also each month be from different locations making that a part of my newsletter. First from locations I know already. Could be Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark. Santo Domingo and Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. And Kent and London in England. All locations where I go, anyway. Then later include stays in other locations. Maybe a few trips to the United States. And I have considered spending some time in Spain writing from there and then returning to Denmark through Europe by train. If I don’t go the paid newsletter direction, I could instead write several e-books covering the same topics and market them. To me it’s not mainly about making money from writing but seeing that it has value. I guess you only know if someone will pay for your content. It’s possible that several e-books like a series would work similar to a paid newsletter. I would then promote the e-books in my blog/newsletter, my website and on my social media.

My Danish taxes. That’s depressing.

The next distraction will be preparing my Danish taxes. I have to file the 1 of Juli and I have some issues around getting the information I need in the Dominican Republic and the US. I have been in contact with the Danish tax authorities “Skat” about how to postpone and am now inquiring with a local Aarhus law firm. I am also asking the law firm how I go about starting my writing business. If I have an income from it. Do I just use my US company which I have anyway and then I don’t close it yet. Or do I have to set up a Danish entity/tax id. If I have paid subscribers or sell e-books. My Danish taxes is not really depressing but just a distraction and will hopefully just be complicated once but then should be straightforward from next year.

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John Boyter

Newsletter John Boyter. My purpose with my writing is to be entertaining, and maybe the reader can learn something from it or be inspired. Nomadic Blog Writer.