I watched a Ted Talk by Matt Cutts – Try something new for 30 days and loved the idea of really committing to something new to see how you like it. I wrote about it back in August 2013 and pushed the idea to the back of my mind. You see, I wasn’t totally committed just yet 🙂 More recently I came across the online programme SeaChange by Leo Babauta from Zen Habits. The timing was right, I was looking for ways to simplify both my work and personal life. 30 days seemed totally manageable and I was ready for a challenge. The suggested habit for April is Mediation but I’m already a regular meditator so I decided to jog every morning for the month of April.
This involves getting up at 7am and climbing into my jogging gear. If you knew what a challenge early mornings are for me, you’d know that I don’t do much talking at this time of the day. But here’s what I found – I committed to doing it and it became an established routine. I’m already on day 24 and feeling great about myself. Here’s some other things I discovered:
- I was really hard on myself at first because I couldn’t run very far. I constantly compared myself to those nimble joggers who passed me by with ease! I was uncomfortable because I hadn’t ‘mastered’ the skill. This is what I felt like when I started blogging first. We need to ease up on ourselves and allow time to learn something new.
- Brain chatter is HUGE when you are jogging (Or is it just me?) “I’ll keep going to the next post and then I’ll stop”. As the post gets nearer… “I’m exhausted, I can’t go another step without stopping for a rest”. I learned to tell that voice to shut up and told myself another story instead; “You can do this, you feel fine”. It worked. Tip number two; ignore (or be understanding of) the negative voice that tells you that you can’t blog or don’t have time!
- And there were lots of positive results too – I discovered how quiet the world is outside at 7am! I’ve slowly built up to running non-stop for 18 minutes in 24 days. This challenge has made me totally hooked on choosing and having new experiences.
So, committing to writing the blog is the first big step. Well done if you’ve got to this stage. Next you need to have a clear plan of action. The clearer you are about your customer and content, the more succesful your blog will be. This is something I can help you with in one-to-one or small workshops.
Here is a tip to get you started. Experiment by setting yourself regular times to write or brainstorm ideas for your blog. The Pomodoro technique might be fun to try out. It’s an application that is based around a 25 minute timer. The idea is that you block off this period of uninterrupted time to focus on doing one task. No distractions are allowed. You’ll soon see how many times your attention wants to wander in just 25 minutes. You may need several pomadoros to complete a task. Setting a time limit, is a great incentive to get your ideas down on paper or screen.
Finally, I recommend that you take Claire Burge’s‘short test on ‘Time Organisational Styles‘. You’ll discover how you manage your time at work. It’s a brilliant eye-opener for discovering where those lost hours go!