“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” - Jim Rohn
When I read this quote in an article about how to write 300,000 words a year (by Chris Guillebeau), it really struck a chord with me. Last week I started going to a scriptwriting workshop to finally have an incentive and a deadline to write my script. I stumbled upon Chris's blog while procrastinating and figuring out how to actually sit down and write the script.
Regret is such a strange emotion. It doesn't serve any real purpose other than motiving us to do things differently next time. For me that very rarely works. It's more likely that I find myself in a never ending circle of regrets. But Rohn's quote got me thinking that if I change how I look at work I can decide if it's worth the regret later.
Woody Allen said that "80 percent of success is just showing up". Meaning that success it's not really about being a genius, it's about sitting down and doing the work. And look at him, he releases a new film every year! As soon as one is at the cinemas, he starts writing the next one. I have so much respect for Woody's work ethics!
Some suggestions on how to actually get things done:
- Turn your internet off (or at least use a program that bans you from using social media)!
- Set a timer for 45 minutes. You can trick your mind by saying 'it's only 45 mins' and you'll be surprised at how much you can get done in that time! According to John Cleese, you should stay put even if you don't have any ideas right now. Stare at the screen for 45 minutes if you have to but don't get distracted and start doing something else. After the 45 minutes, if you're having fun, set the timer again!
- Make it a habit! Write (draw, sew or whatever you want to do) every day. If possible even at the same time. It might be difficult to force yourself to be disciplined for a couple of weeks but as soon as something becomes a habit, it's not really discipline anymore but a way of life.
Personally I'm going to hang both of those quotes above my desk, so that the next time I can't get myself to do something, I'll be reminded that I have a choice: To sit down and do it anyway or to live with the regret of not having done it!
How do you get yourself to be more productive?