To me, these 3 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 has been a number of things I really wanted to achieve but never got around to get done. The main one being to write on a daily basis.
And it is not that I don’t like it. I love to write. I really 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 really 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 certain 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 a decade, is a huge advocate of writing and sharing the product of his work on a daily basis. He says it transformed his life and that he believes it would transform 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 surely needed 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.
But when it came to writing and sticking to it, it never worked.
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.
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 5 words.
- Stop negotiating with myself. Why should I compromise on doing something that is 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 5 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 too much about the formatting, illustration, etc was making things heavier and more complicated. So I set up everything exactly the way I needed it. 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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