On April 24th I wrote my 200th blog. I was on an all-time high and then I crashed.
Today morning, I was looking for some material on music as I was staring at my unfinished blog drafts. The unvarnished truth is that I’ve been missing my Saturday morning routine of writing undistractedly. The last two weeks have seen me making excuses. I had titles for 4 blogs, a lot of ideas and thoughts simmering inside, a part of them on my blog notebook and partly on my iPhone notes. It was time to fix my writing schedule. So how do I reset my practice?
The first question I asked myself is why do we resist practice? Why do we procrastinate? How do I make the practice interesting and not boring?
I am very much in awe of this word ‘serendipity.’ There will be moments when a few things will collide. In my case, it was the book “The Practice” by Seth Godin, a quote by Tom Bilyeu which was “what you repeat becomes real” and a video by Ali Abdal on the motivation myth. These three things collided to give me a stack of ideas. That alchemy was what I was looking to supercharge my blog. I once heard Ali talking about increasing the surface area of serendipity and that’s what happened.
During my morning walk, I realised that I get the best ideas. So I started capturing my ideas on my iPhone notes. Later I transcribed them to my blog notebook and finally into drafts on my blog site. This was the system that I gradually built and it was the first step to get over my procrastination.
The next step was to define the time when I would sit down to actually expand the draft whilst on “airplane mode.”
The next step was to create the setting for writing. I rearranged my room first thing in the morning, after meditation to let in a lot of sunshine. Music always elevates my mood. Salil Chaudhary was instrumental in my reaching 200 blogs. For the next 100, it might well be Hans Zimmer. The music of the movie “Inception” especially the song “Time” helped me build momentum to complete my blog.
“We take an oath of most resistance, we follow the path of least resistance.” In “The Motivation Myth” Jeff Haden advises us to eliminate choices to avoid procrastination. In essence, create to-do lists with every small meaningful action in them so that you just follow the list and don’t think about what to do next. This was the last step I applied to get over my procrastination.
An oft-repeated story of Michaelangelo is the story about the statue of David- one of his. masterpieces. The story goes that one day a visitor to his studio asked what he had been doing with the statue since his previous visit.
“I have retouched this part, — polished that, — softened this feature, — brought out that muscle,— given some expression to this lip and more energy to that limb.”
“But these are trifles,” remarked the visitor.
“It may be so,” replied the sculptor, “but recollect that trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”
What I realised in the process is that I need to set bigger goals for myself and get my skill to the next level by stacking habits and building systems. As the artist George Ferrandi said “If you have to ask should I keep going? The answer is yes.”