This is the second post in a series about the power of Doing It Everyday. In the first, we talked about why Doing It Everyday is so effective. (Read this first!) In this article, we discuss how to make Doing It Everyday, which can often feel pretty hard, easy.
I understand that doing it everyday can feel extremely daunting. Your days are already busy enough! How can you possibly add another daily activity to your hectic schedule?
When I start thinking like this to myself, I try to remember those that have found ways to accomplish so much in their lives.
We have the same 24 hours everyday.
How do they get so much done in the same amount of time I have? How do they do it? Asking that question eventually brought me to how I do it.
How to Do it Everyday
Identify unmanaged time. Start by considering that at least a small part of your busyness may just be unmanaged time that gets spent on trivial things and would be more fulfilling if used elsewhere - on something you actually decide to spend it on.
Doing It Everyday is for the things you've always wanted to do, but don't. Activities that are more important than the petty ones that get in the way. If you can wedge out even just a bit of time everyday, that's enough.
When I started writing out what an ideal schedule for tomorrow would look like the day before, I suddenly began finding time for what I wanted to do because I was allowing so little room for unmanaged time-wasters.
Start small. To start, all you need to do daily is squeeze in the simplest form of what you want to do. For awhile, when I wanted to write my thoughts down everyday, I just wrote a title. "Here's what I would write about, if I had the time."
As you build consistency, no matter how tiny an activity you're doing, it grows and eventually blossoms. In just a few months I went from writing ten words a day to over a thousand. And it was surprisingly easy.
Ideally, you'd pick something that is 100% doable on a regular basis, but still something of a challenge - you should feel like you're accomplishing something when you get it done for the day.
Isolate barriers. When it came to exercising (which I wrote about in Why I Do It Everyday), my barrier was getting up and to the gym. I isolated it, and did it everyday. Problem solved.
Barriers are often extremely easy to overcome individually but compound when you're trying to take on the whole goal at once. By stripping it down to its individual challenges, you have a series of hills to get over instead of towering cliff.
Think back to the last time you decided not to do that thing you want to do. What really came between you and your goal? Answer that question specifically, in it's barest form.
Worry about results later. First build the habit, then develop your results.
The hard part about blogging is publishing consistently. Plain and simple. That's the only goal I'm focusing on now when it comes to the Tumble Blog. I could spend a lot of time thinking about how much traffic I'm getting and if the quality of my writing is up to snuff - but if I'm not even in the habit of publishing what does that matter?
Celebrate getting it done for the day before you ask how good it is.
What if I Miss a Day?
Ironically, I'm writing this at a time in my life that's particularly hectic as I move into a new place and get things setup again. I've stayed consistent on some things and lost grip on a few others.
Worse than missing a day is the anxiety that comes with it, preventing you from getting back into it the next. Just accept in advance that things happen but that over time you weed out the missed days.
I started writing morning pages everyday in November. I missed 10 days in December, 9 in January, 8 in February, 20 in March, 6 in April, 1 in May and 0 in June and July. Keep hammering and you'll get there.
Imagine you want to learn to draw. You decide to draw a still-life every day for a year and post it on your wall. How do you think your first drawing would compare to your 365th?
No doubt, they would be worlds apart and you would have only slowly ratcheted up your investment in drawing.
My bet is that 100 days in, getting into drawing mode would have become so easy that you’d consider yourself a drawer. A small investment in time everyday changed not just what you're capable of but, more incredibly, how you see yourself.
Don't just read, take action!
- Write out how tomorrow would go ideally, including your new activity. This will look like a schedule, but isn't. Even doing this occasionally seems to help me stay aware of how on-target my days are.
- Write out the things you did today that weren't necessary. Were they all more rewarding than the your Do It Everyday goal could be?
- Figure out specifically what barriers are keeping you from getting started everyday. Strip them down to their barest, simplest form and make the time to do that everyday.
- Share in the comments how your everyday goals are going, the challenges your facing and the tricks you've found to overcome them!
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