We all have high and low times. Low time is when we don't feel like doing anything. We tend to procrastinate in so many different ways.
Before starting my 30 days writing challenge, I used to write at different places but only when I felt the inspiration and motivation to do so.
I have been giving excuses to myself. And every time I find creative excuses to not write.
But if you will look at my first article in the 30 days writing challenge. You'll notice that the article is not perfect. Neither It can any concrete information in it. And notice the date. It's 27th Jan. Not 1st Jan or 1st Feb.
So most people when they think of something like this, they give excuses that they will do it at the start of the next month. And they wait for the perfect time to start something.
In most cases, Now is the perfect time to start something, that you have been procrastinating on.
I was reading some book from Seth Godin when I read this line: The professional shows up even when he/she doesn’t feel like it.
On the other hand, an amateur is someone who does something only when he feels like doing it.
A professional shows up even if he sees no results. A professional doesn't get demotivated with lack of short-term results.
I am only able to follow my writing habit when I decided to be professional. Now at 8:00 AM every morning, I become a writer and write till my article is complete.
I don't wait for the motivation to do so. I don't wait the inspiration. I just start writing and, after few minutes I get the motivation and inspiration to write.
Another thing which overlaps with being a professional is the Implementation Intention. You create an Intent to do something. And once the intent is created, you listen to it and do it, no matter what.
How to become a Professional
Become a professional is a mindset change. And once you have acquired it. It will help you change all areas of your life. Whatever you have been procrastinating on, you'll be able to do it with just a simple mindset change.
1. Decide what do you want and why do you want it.
The first step of becoming a professional is to understand the purpose behind doing something. I am currently working on to improve my marketing skills. And for that I do different sorts of activities. One of them is to practice writing a sales email.
So I plan to write a 400 words sales email every morning, then I get it proof-read from a few trusted people and I ask for the honest feedback.
Now what do I want to do: Write a sales email every morning and get feedback from my trusted people.
Why do I do it: Because I want to get better at email marketing and sell better with it.
2. Set a schedule about when will you be doing it.
Once you know why and what. Now it's time to set a schedule. There are two ways to set a schedule: Absolute time and relative time.
Absolute time is the time which is irrespective of what you do. Example 10:00 AM, 5:00 PM. The time will come whether you do anything or not.
Relative time is the time which is relative to any activity that you do. Example After you wake up, after you brush your teeth or before you go to bed.
You can set your schedule based on the absolute time or relative to the activity that you currently do.
For my task, I plan to send the email at 11:00 AM every morning.
3. Stick to your schedule.
Now the time you set is the call to your duty. Be a professional and listen to it, no matter what. Don't let anything or anyone come in-between.
As James Clear said, "Setting a schedule doesn't make you a professional, following it does."
So one advice when you are just starting is to think on a smaller time frame. Don't think you will be following this schedule for a year or even a month. Just tell yourself that you'll be following it for a week.
And when you are successful with a week. Repeat.
If you really want to be successful at something, learn to become a professional first. A professional is a person who shows up even when he feels like it or not.
To become a professional, set a schedule and just follow it. Don't wait for the motivation to come. Motivation is the result of doing something not a cause. Once you have started something you'll always find the motivation to continue doing it.