To me, these three words mean much more than a famed motto.
If you are anything like me, you are not doing everything you know and have known for a while that you should do.
Throughout the years, there have been many things I really wanted to achieve but never got around to get done. The main one is to write daily.
And it is not that I don’t like it. I love to write. I do.
It is an activity I was pursuing during some of my free time when I was younger. It helps me process my thoughts and feelings; it allows me to express my artistic side. I think I am good at it and I take a lot of pleasure from it. Actually, I always have wanted to write books. I even started to write one but never finished it.
Despite all of this, it has been years that I have not been writing regularly. In fact, I never really wrote regularly, at all, unless it was part of the school’s duties.
Forget about regularity. I have not been able to bring myself to write even when I had opportunities with publications that were interesting to me.
Why? You wonder. Most probably because it is a demanding task.
You need to find the time, be inspired, get in the flow, write, edit, write, edit,…Writing demands time, energy, and a specific environment.
All of these make it easier, in a world where a lot of people, tasks, and things compete for our attention, energy, and time, to push it down the list of priorities. Or at least, it is how I like to explain it to me.
However, writing and pushing the publish button is something that countless successful leaders highlight to be a life-changing habit.
Seth Godin, for example, a multiple time best selling author (and much more), who has been blogging daily for over two decades, is a huge advocate of writing and sharing the product of his work daily. He says it transformed his life and that he believes it would change ours too. I don’t know about you, but when Seth speaks, I pay attention. At least when it comes to writing, business, marketing, etc.
And in case you wonder, as I did, if my inability to commit to my writing was coming from a lack of discipline or planning, well, I don’t think it is.
As an entrepreneur, I have had to learn to be always more productive, self-accountable, and organized. Through the years, I tested and integrated a lot of techniques and developed my own to make sure I would do what I ought to do.
I have learnt to define objectives, to transform them in well-defined SMART goals to organize in roadmaps, punctuated with clear milestones. I have made a habit of breaking my tasks in weekly and daily to-do lists, always with a limited number of items that have been prioritized using the 80/20 rules, and spread across my week and days based on my peak of productivity.
I have gotten used to set times for certain activities, to use the Pomodoro technique to guarantee focused work. I even have installed Freedom on my computer to block all distractions for when I need it. You get the picture.
I have found my system, and it works wonders for me. Really when things don’t work, it is mainly because I have neglected to use it.
Or to be exact, I was successful at it on a few occasions but only for a short period of time.
My most successful attempt has been when 2 friends of mine and I challenged ourselves to a full month of daily writing. Write and share, every day.
But when it came to writing and sticking to it, it never worked.
Having accountability partners was of great help to me, and as long as my routine did not change, I never missed my daily blurb.
However, when in the middle of the month, I had to travel to Poland for a conference, I stopped my daily writing. Because I had another priority.
This was about a year ago, and since then, I have meant to get back to it, without success.
But finally, I think I have cracked the code. I understood that there were a few things I needed to change to build this new habit:
- Keep my expectations small. Who said I needed to commit to writing 3000 words daily? I could just commit to writing something and publishing it—even five words.
- Stop negotiating with me. Why should I compromise on doing something important to me, immediately rewarding and potentially life-changing because there might be something else more important for someone else I could do? Come on. I am worth me taking the time to write five words for myself
- Remove all obstacles. I decided I did not need anything fancy for my publishing but that I needed my own platform as Medium, for example, was not the space for my daily rambling but rather for longer pieces. I noticed that having to think about the formatting, illustration, etc was making things heavier and more complicated. So I decided my daily posts would have only text. I them set up everything exactly the way I needed it. Now, I no longer need to think. No more excuses. I just have to focus on writing these 5 words
I am confident I will be able to do it this time. After years of searching, I finally understood that it all boils down to one thing at the end: remove the pains and just do it!
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