The three biggest problems every writer has to deal with are motivation, procrastination, and time.
A lack of motivation and a tendency towards procrastination can be overcome with a variety of tactics and mindset shifts.
Time is a little tricker.
Yes, we can create schedules, time block, and batch tasks, but the problem goes deeper than that.
Time is a finite resource; unlike motivation, you can do make more time.
Our time is also impacted by external sources, many that we have no control over. We need to dedicate a certain number of hours to sleep, work, and rest in order to have a sane and healthy life.
Life makes demands on our time, and often without notice: unexpected emails, requests, emergencies, and urgent errands.
How we spend our time is the results of the decisions we make.
Saying yes to one option is saying no to another, at least in the moment.
We can achieve a lot over the course of a lifetime, but can’t stuff all those experiences into a single year.
We have to decide how we’re going to divide our time between paid work, passion projects, and our personal lives.
Saying yes to a gym session might mean saying no to an afternoon writing session. Both are important to you and your well-being, so how do you decide which task to say yes to?
Below are five laser question that will help you do just that.
# 1 Rate it
If torn between two tasks, take a moment to rate it. On a scale of 1-10, how important is this task to you? What payoff will you get for completing this task?
# 2 Macro
Take a bird’s eye view of your week or month, how much time have you dedicated to each of these tasks? Has one had more time dedicated to it? How do you feel about that?
# 3 Duty
Who is impacted by you completing this task? Who is impacted by you not completing this task?
NB: You and your goals are just as important as the expectations and deadlines created by others.
# 4 Sensation
Imagine completing these two tasks, which one has a bigger sense of relief or achievement? Which of these two (or more) tasks are you most excited by? Which task do you actually want to do?
# 5 Evaluate
Do you actually need to do this task at all? Why would you complete this task? What benefits will you get from completing it? Is this task valuable to you and your body of work, or is this just busy work?
We’re all tending to a multitude of responsibilities and deadlines. We all have personal projects that we want to complete. We all want to live full, rich, big lives. Learning how to identify which tasks are worthy of our time and which will assist us in reaching our biggest goals is invaluable.
Our time is limited, and we all have stories that we want to share. So, how will you make time for your writing this week? What tasks will you say no to so that you can say yes to the stories inside you?
Need help finishing that short story, novel, memoir? No problem. The Follow-Through Formula is a free video training which unpacks the five strategies you can use to go from idea to completed project.
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