TIME: 5pm. 02/24/12.
“Write blog post.”
For the past week these three words have been haunting me from my WEEKLY iDEA Planner. I knew what I wanted to write about and I do enjoy writing, but for seven days I managed to do everything except write. I was procrastinating like a pro!
But I still needed a fully written post and had nothing.
Then I remembered something that a participant from my iDEA BOOT CAMP introduced us to. She told us about the writer Raymond Chandler’s rule of “DO NOTHING”. Apparently Chandler would set aside at least four hours each day to write. During this time he would not force himself to write, but instead he would not allow himself to do anything else. He wouldn’t read, check emails, clean his kitchen, nothing. The way he sums it up is this: “Two very simple rules, a. you don’t have to write. b. you can’t do anything else. The rest comes of itself.”
Right now I am in the midst of applying his rule! I decided I would write for half an hour or I would sit still. At first I had a million ideas on how I could spend 30 minutes doing anything but write. As my mind wandered I noticed that my Blackberry was blinking madly with new emails and text messages, then I started listening to a conversation between two people in the neighboring workstation, and finally I decided that I needed a cup of tea.
BUT I had made an agreement with myself that for half an hour I will write or SIT still and I was determined to not break it. And then magically, in about 20 minutes, I was in a flow, I was suddenly all about writing and not caring about emails, or people or tea.
And as I continued to key in my thoughts I realized that the simplicity of this process was similar to my meditation practice, being present in a moment and really contributing my whole intention to one activity. And like my meditation practice, it works!
So the next time you catch yourself procrastinating on an important task, try the ‘DO NOTHING’ or ‘SIT STILL’ rule.
1. Allocate an amount of time that you will be working on your task.
2. Commit to your task and if you do not do your task then JUST
Not only you will accomplish what you need to, but you will be focused and more peaceful.
Draft 1 “Sit still” blog is done – 5:45 PM.
And now for those emails!
Note: For more on Raymond Chandler check out this interesting piece by Gretchen Rubin