I really want to have written an article today.
I just don’t want to write it.
You know how I feel? Even if you don’t blog, you have assuredly experienced the same thing:
- You want to have cleaned your room, but you don’t want to clean it.
- You want to have prepared dinner, but you don’t want to prepare it.
- You want to have written an Apologetics card, but you don’t want to write it.
I’m reminded of a TED talk I once watched on procrastination. The speaker shared how he felt when he was first invited: “Wow! I always wanted to have done a TED talk! Like, I could tell people: ‘This one time, in the past, I did a TED talk, but it’s over now.'”
The problem for that procrastinator? He was on the front end of the TED talk, and actually had to write it.
I feel like that today. Recently I’ve missed a self-imposed publishing deadline or two. Writing a new article every two weeks is my goal and standard practice, but lately that has not been happening.
Partly that’s because I moved to Los Angeles. Yep, I’m out in beautiful Cali now! Later this month I start school at The Master’s Seminary, for my three-year Master of Divinity degree.
So life is busy and crazy and hectic with transition. But I’ve made time for lots of other things. So it’s not as though writing an article is impossible.
Rather, I have used the move as an excuse not to write.
Because writing is hard.
Let’s bring this around to Apologetics finally…
Writing Apologetics cards is hard.
It is! Even for someone like me, who wrote dozens of them and created an entire system for goodness’ sake.
And occasionally (or frequently) you sit down at your computer and really, really do not want to write a card.
But what happens if you don’t?
You don’t write a card the next week.
Or the next.
Or the one after that.
Before you know it, tournament season is here! And you have a grand total of 3 cards.
How can you avoid that awful fate?
With this one brilliant tip.
(I didn’t originally come up with this tip, so I can call it brilliant without being prideful.)
I first heard of it in a productivity article someplace. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld wanted to force himself to write new jokes every day. So what did he do?
He bought a calendar.
Not just any calendar—a huge wall calendar, with the entire year of days visible.
Every day he wrote jokes, he got to cross off the day with a gigantic red X.
If he missed a day? No red X.
Let’s pretend it is Day 8 for Jerry. The past 7 days he has written jokes consistently. He has a chain of 7 red X marks on the calendar.
Does he want that chain to end?
The desire to keep progressing trumps the desire to be lazy.
And that, my friends, is why I’m typing this post instead of reading or practicing Hebrew or browsing Facebook or searching for the best variety of coffee.
Because for the past 4 years, I have posted a new article every 2 weeks.
And I detest the thought of breaking that chain. I’ve broken it enough already these past few weeks. No more.
How do you apply this personally?
Determine how many cards you want to write each week. (Or each month, if you want to go slower than one card per week.)
Get a calendar.
And splash a big red X across every week you succeed.