Last night I spent about 5 and a half hours doing nothing. Watching rubbish TV and reading magazines to be precise.
I guess I wasn’t really doing nothing.
What I was doing was avoiding engaging in further work on my current writing project.
I had big plans for the weekend. Spring clean the house. Finish my marketing strategy for an idea I’m working on. Write a few articles. Polish off some annoying admin tasks I’ve been putting off for weeks.
Not much happened.
It wasn’t just that I couldn’t be bothered. It was more because I kept telling myself I’ve got plenty of time – I mean, four full days off. There was no rush. Of course, by last night I really didn’t have much time left. But by this stage I’d basically lost all momentum and motivation. Which means now I have to start all over again:
• Re-build my daily writing habit
• Force myself to do it until the momentum kicks back in
• Keep myself accountable regardless of how unmotivated I might feel
• And still clean that damn house!
Can you identify?
Lately I’ve been hearing from quite a few people who have been struck down with the ‘I can’t be bothered’s’. Or a nasty case of ‘but I’m just not motivated’. It’s normal to go through phases where you feel like this. The truth is, even having a goal of any kind puts you ahead of the pack. And skipping a few days here and there is not the end of the world.
But don’t be fooled.
Loss of momentum can be a dangerous thing if left unchecked. If one day off (exercise, writing, working on your business, etc) turns into two, into three, into a week, into ‘didn’t I make that same resolution last New Year’s?!”, well – you’re in trouble. From here it’s really only a short and slippery slope to ‘I may as well give up. It probably wasn’t going to work anyway’.
Time to give yourself a kick up the you-know-what:
You don’t have to break records every day. Work on your goals in bite-size chunks. Even putting 10 minutes in is better than taking a day off because you want to wait until you have more time to put in.
- Follow the Jerry Seinfeld rule of productivity. It’s worked for me before, and I’ll be starting again effective today.
- Be accountable to someone. Tell them you’ll be achieving ‘x’ by a certain date and ask for their support or feedback.
- Start a blog. You can do it for free with WordPress, and it will keep you accountable in a massive way. You may also find recording your journey inspires you to move forward faster.
- Be focused. If you set aside an hour to pursue your goal, do nothing but that. If you do nothing, fine, but no checking emails, no texts, no cleaning, no talking. It’s ‘x’ or nothing.
Finally – don’t let doubt stop you from taking action. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. But you sure ain’t
going to find out by flicking the channels on your remote!