March 25, 2019-Should you eat the frog? Not eat the frog? Wait, eat what? We’re not talking about actual frogs here, thank goodness! We’re talking about a book by Brian Tracy called Eat That Frog in which the statement is a metaphor for tackling the most essential tasks first on your to-do list.
You and I both know that there will never be enough time to complete each and everything on your list, but the most successful people don’t try to do everything anyway! We need to remember to focus on the tasks that have the highest return on investment (ROI), that being what can we do right now that will have the greatest impact on our business or writing career? Let’s look at my list of to-dos for today as an example:
Finish writing Jessica Westlake
Send Becoming James Cass to the editor *
Follow up with all clients to ensure they have their questions answered *
Blog posts for the month (12)
Podcasts for the month (8)
Inventory and supply ordering
Obtain new business *
Social media post scheduling
My MIT’s or Most Important Tasks have an asterisk beside them, notice that I only picked three of them:) Why? Because the current tasks have the greatest ROI and frankly, everything else can wait or be delegated. Here’s my stream of thinking: I’ll be able to write Jessica Westlake while I’m waiting in the airport and while on the four-hour flight. The blog posts are done for the rest of the month so I can schedule the posts for April without being in a panic, same goes for the podcasts. I’ll delegate the accounting and inventory ordering to my accountant and I’ll get my assistant to see what events we should be going to. I have three days worth of social media posts scheduled and ready to go, so I’ll deal with scheduling more in a couple of days or while I’m waiting somewhere.
All it comes down to is being organized and knowing what your priorities are. Make your list and look at it truthfully, what can wait? Which frogs do you need to eat first? What can you delegate?
Here are some questions that you should answer to get clear on what you need to do:
Which of your daily tasks are really helping you achieve your goals?
Which tasks are just really distractions to keep you from doing the important stuff?
Once you can answer these two questions truthfully, you’ll be productive rather than busy (which is another word for unorganized, unmotivated, and procrastination). Eat that frog!
January 25, 2019– I know a thing or two about resistance, as I’m sure you do; we are human after all, and finishing anything is hard. Sure, it may be easy to finish an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Ice Cream in one sitting, but it’s a lot harder to finish things that matter in our lives. Do you know how many people have started manuscripts that they’ve never finished? Or how many of us have unfinished paintings or works of art that have sat in drawers and on shelves for decades? The answer to both questions is too many. To make my point, let me tell you a story.
My sister and I decided that we were going to run a race in our city called Around the Bay. It wasn’t five or ten kilometers, it was thirty and I had no idea how the hell I was going to do it. I started training for about five months beforehand, and five days a week I would run along the mountain brow in the wee hours of the morning. I increased my kilometers over time and eventually was able to run twenty-five kilometers without a problem. Race day came and the first twenty kilometers were a breeze. I was happy, and felt great, and was sure that I could finish the race. Well, guess what happened? During the last ten kilometers, I fell apart. I was so close to the end, but I was ready to quit. I seriously thought about calling a cab or throwing myself into traffic just so I could lie down. Why? Because resistance is most powerful at the finish line. We ended up crossing the finish line arm in arm and it was an experience that I will never forget. Am I glad I did it? Yes. Am I glad it’s over? Also, yes.
Here’s why resistance is most powerful at the finish line of your writing:
Because we can’t see the ending. Could we see the end of the race/the ribbon? Not a chance. We were still too far away, but let me tell you when we did finally see the end, we sped up and finished. We got it done. Same goes for your writing! Know that there’s an ending and as much as you want to give up and throw in the literary towel, don’t. Keep going. Just put one word behind the next, and you’ll get there. It will take time, but you’ll get there. You may not be able to see the ending, but it’s there. If we don’t finish something, how can we move on to the next thing?
Because we’ve worked so hard for so long. We’ve been working on the same manuscript for days, months, and even years. We have worked so hard, and we are past the point of caring. If this is you, know that you’re almost there. Stay disciplined, sit in your seat, and type. It’s one of the most challenging things to do, but unless we keep pushing, we will never finish. Know that just like everything, there is always a beginning and an end. All we have to do is persist.
Because we’re tired and we don’t think that we can keep going. During that race, my mind played tricks on me. It said that I couldn’t possibly take another step and that it would be so much easier just to stop and give up. I was not only physically tired but mentally tired too. I didn’t want to do it anymore. What the hell was the point of starting if I wasn’t going to finish? Why would anyone in their right mind run twenty-kilometers of a thirty-kilometer race and give up when they are almost done? Because it’s easier. Don’t take the easy way out of your writing. Finish the race and complete what you set out to do. Don’t quit. You will have an amazing sense of satisfaction and a major confidence boost when you finish what you start. This gives you momentum and you’ll find yourself saying, if I could finish that, I can finish the next thing.
If you’re struggling to finish your race (manuscript, blog, poem, speech), remember that resistance is most powerful at the finish line. Take the resistance that you’re experiencing as a sign that you are so close to the end. Don’t give up now; you can do it! X LLB
November 2, 2019– Yay! November is officially National Novel Writing Month. This is a great time to start writing or outlining your novel if you’ve finally decided to take the plunge! Look around you, there are so many things to be inspired by and the chilly weather is perfect for curling up by the fire with a new project.
But, did you know that there’s an official internet project based on the month? Let me explain: National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo /ˈnænoʊ ˈraɪmoʊ/), is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word manuscript between November 1 and November 30. Whoa…that’s a tall order, but I think that you can do it!
So I want to know, are you up for the challenge? What will you write about? Sound off in the comments below:) Happy Writing, you better get started! X LLB
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