What’s the biggest book success killer? You and I both know it’s procrastination and the thinking behind it. Maybe it’s time to look at the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly” of procrastination.
Think to yourself, “What are the payoffs for procrastinating? And what are the consequences of not doing the task in your book project or doing it spasmodically?”
Years ago, after I read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, I took the self-evaluation test at the end of the book. I remember clearly my biggest problem at that time was procrastination. The payoff at the time was not moving forward into a whole new business adventure. I was safe as a college teacher and stuck at the same time. Does this make sense?
From that point on, I took seminars on personal growth including Neuro Linguistic Programming and combined these important mind skills with my own time management skill sets. I put these into short books, teaching the public first, then moving on to corporate audiences and highly functional entrepreneurs.
I never looked back at those unproductive habits. Maybe you won’t either after you read the rest of this blog?
Has the well run dry for you and your book?
Are there some things you just don’t know how to do? Do you worry that your book (remember the one to help your ideal audience to a better life and world?) won’t get finished and into your audiences’ hands? Are you stuck in a particular part of the book? Is your chapter structure wandering too much? Is your outline impossible?
“Staying blocked is harder than doing the work.”
Think of the Payoffs of Finishing Your Book (the Good)
Your Ideal Audience will…
- Love your book’s helpful, inspiring message.
- Love you too. They will likely know, like and trust you more.
- Buy and read your book, even if you give it away.
- Demand more like-minded courses, other short books, and join your list.
In other words… Results. Results. Results.
Judy’s Hot Tip:
Keep a picture of your ideal audience near your workstation. Ask it questions and keep it freshly in mind, so you keep hitting the bull’s eye - the target.
Think of the Consequences of Not Finishing Your Book (The Bad and Ugly)
Hold yourself back because you worry that your peers and audience won’t think it’s quality information. This is the fear so many people get stuck in. If you ask, “Is my fear real?” you may get that Cheshire Cat grin on your face, because you know it’s not true.
Believe you are a perfectionist. You edit way too many times and stay stuck. Unconsciously, it’s fear of not being good enough. Know that it’s not perfection your audience seeks from you, it’s excellence and useful information they want and need. In my world, a perfectionist just doesn’t have enough fun.
For you perfectionists, I advise you to do one imperfect thing each day. And to lighten up! Have fun with this as well as any other part of your business. Yes, if you take action, you will make mistakes, but all of us do.
Feel guilty. This is the hardest emotion to let go of. People hang onto guilt. It keeps them from moving forward. Just check out Louse Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life. She gives the underlying emotional reasons for our sicknesses and other physical problems. When someone points out a mistake I made, I just thank them, correct it, and move on.
No sales. No helpful message to make the world a better place.
Feel down and lose confidence. When you are consistent with tasks completed, your confidence and motivation soars.
No critical feedback from those who don’t know you or your book. When I put my print book up on Amazon, a few miscreants gave negative reviews among the 25 or so Five Stars. I did report it to Amazon, but no help. Just ignore these and keep improving your promotions. When negatives creep in one of my mantras is “Onto the Next!”
No book money goals or finish dates leave a fuzzy taste in your mouth.
No plan and no chapter structure to put the information your audience needs to love you in your chapter’s middle. With no plan or structure, there’s only sidestepping with confusing language that doesn’t yield results you want - to solve your ideal audience’s challenges in your field.
Vague goals equal vague results.
Conquer Procrastination These 10 Ways
1. Know where you are now.
To reach your desired outcomes of what’s important to you, your must first know where you are now and where you want to be. Be specific.
I applied this method from a Pacific Bell Executive in two mind maps (color coded outlining). It’s an excellent way to serve our readers and clients. Know where they are now and where they want to be. Then show them the way to get the outcomes they want with your wonderful book.
2. Use Mental Rehearsal that yields a 85% success rate.
Instead of looking out into the distance with goals for the future, claim your goal completed now. Imagine your three edited ebooks complete now. Write down what you see, hear and feel.
Mental Rehearsal Example
Now that my 3 short updated ebooks on best book titles, best ways to outline chapters, and best way to write chapters that all serve your audience, on August 30, 2016 (put in your date) I…
SEE three emails coming to me every day asking questions about my book coaching skill sets I teach to highly motivated business people. I also SEE advanced payments in my bank account.
HEAR my book coaching clients say they were grateful for my inspiring, useful information that pulled them into the success zone of finishing their book.
FEEL confident now more of my ideal clients will come and even enjoy the book writing journey.
3. Keep your main goal on the front burner.
To get important things done, you need to leave other tasks undone.
Stop sidestepping with favors for friends and family urgently driven. Urgent is not usually important when your satisfying life needs attention.
Remember, when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to another. Ask yourself, “Is this action of top importance in my life?”
I usually have 3 top important areas to act on. The first is full, energetic health. The second is is friends and family. The third is a top business adventure like writing another book and serving top business clients who are writing a book or related project.
4. Ask yourself these questions at the end of your work day:
“Did I do work on my main goal of writing a new book?”
For this I advise writing in your organizer the night before so your unconscious mind will half solve it by the next day.
I call these High Level Activities (HLAs). I write three of them each day and finish fully. If you don’t overload your schedule, you will stay relaxed and energetic all day. When you finish fully, you’ll love yourself even more, and stay motivated to keep finishing your writing projects.
Ask yourself, “What interruptions did I bypass to finish my book priority fully?”
5. Get your project started quickly.
Make your decision and act on it. We waste too much time in the “paralysis of analysis.” Instead, think “Get ready, fire, aim.”
6. Learn a fast-writing technique for your articles and your books to finish fast.
Connect with a professional coach to show you how.
7. Delegate parts of your book marketing or any project you don’t have the skills for to a skilled Virtual Assistant (VA).
I’ve used them from the day I got online to the present time. This service helps me double my output of blogging useful writing information for business people, and expands 10 times or more my investment in the VA.
8. Take breaks.
Every hour or so, cover your eyes with your palms, visualize figure 8’s, and do some deep, belly breathing. Get out of your computer chair and ask yourself how you’re doing?
9. Use this $25,000 Time Management Solution.
This fee was paid by Charles Schwab to the time management person with the best plan in three steps. Those steps are…
One. Do the most important thing first.
Two. Finish number one before you go on to number two.
Three. Write down in your organizer 3-5 High Level Activities (HLAs) such as specific tasks. Write them down the day before and let your unconscious work on these all night, so you can be fresh in the morning for action.
10. Remind yourself of the payoffs.
That includes creating the wealth you want so you can take that Caribbean vacation this year, or so you can help your children or grandchildren with college tuition.
Finally, look at your life. Are you spending enough time on what you love to do? If you love writing then invest more of yourself to get it finished. And, enjoy the journey too.
Sharing is Caring
Feedback is always good for us who love writing. Please give us some feedback on which of the tips speak to you? And if you have one, add it in the comments below.
Latest posts by Judy Cullins (see all)
- Take This Book and Love It! - November 21, 2016
- Do You Need More Book Testimonials That Convert Well? - November 18, 2016
- Beware the Bored Reader - 9 Ways to Pull Your Book Audience In - November 11, 2016