If I can put something off until tomorrow, I will. As a prolific procrastinator it’s almost unbelievable that I run 2 successful businesses and have done half the things I have done in my life. I thrive off instant gratification and quick wins.
The thing is, I believe that we are ALL procrastinators, it’s just some of us are more practiced than others. It’s human nature to choose the easy route in life and avoid risk and danger at all costs. But the hidden danger is that the more we procrastinate, the better we become at it, the more time gets drained and life gets away with us.
However, I have found a fool proof way that has worked time and time again that has allowed me to write a best selling book in under 2 months and run successful events among many more things.
Writing a book is a common desire but it is also one that people either put off OR never finish. It’s a big mountain right? I’m going to show you in just three steps below how I became a best selling author in just 2 months flat even though the whole thought of it scared the bajeezus out of me and I knew exactly what my track record was like with procrastination.
1. Public Declaration
There’s something about other people holding you accountable for the things you say you’ll do. Not because they’ll chase you, but because they expect a result and surely you’re not the kind of person to say you’ll do something so fantastical and back out of it, right? Oh you are! Well that’s exactly why this step wasn’t enough for me. I am that person unless I put in place the next two steps.
2. Lock It In
So I knew just saying I’m going to do something means absolutely nothing and that I had to decide with action; REAL action. Bearing in mind at this point I hadn’t written a word of the book, I gingerly started to organise the book launch with the first step being – secure the venue. So I proceeded to pay in full for a room in none other than The Ritz London (no way of cancelling) and started to sell tickets to my book launch. I know! Brave right? I’ll absolutely take that title in this instance because I’m not going to lie, I used Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule to push the red button to make this happen. After paying for the venue I ran into the corner of the room and rocked for a little while in absolute terror of what i’d just done.
I had a book to write.
3. Short Deadlines
All this happened with a 2 month deadline from booking the venue to when the event was due to happen. Why such an incredibly short deadline? Because I know procrastination too well. I know that if I give that little beast longer, it’ll make it happy. It’ll be chilled out with a bottle of wine eating nachos for as long as it could get away with. If you give that beast time, it’ll let you waste it.
And you know what it did? Even with this unbelievably short deadline, it waited until just 5 weeks before the launch day to perk up. Yep you heard right, even though I had just two months, I’d written the structure for the book but not a single word was written down. Proving yet again, the shorter the deadline the more motivated you get!
I ended up writing the majority of the book in just 2 weekends. I blocked out the entire time just to concentrate on the book and you know what… the pressure of the deadline made me do it.
The big day arrived and the event was wonderful. The publicity from the event and the promotion of the book sent it soaring into the charts and I became a best selling author for the first time. Proud of myself doesn’t even cut it. It was one of the biggest achievements of my life so far.
Yes it was nerve racking, yes it was stressful but I’ve never been more grateful to my nerves and my stress levels than I was for those couple of months. Which is another plus side to the short deadline.
The longer you hold the weight of the task on your shoulders, the heavier it becomes. The short deadline meant that it was pure focused energy meaning I could breath a sigh of relief after a short period of stress, instead of agonising over the task that never gets for months on end resulting in serious self depreciation.
So if you want to get that daunting task done, count down from 5, declare it, lock it in and do it soon!
by Jen Hall – Business Desirability Coach