Table of contents
Last week I met a would-be career coach called Katie. She'd been coaching for 6 months, but still hadn’t charged any of her clients.
In other words, she was procrastinating
My advice was to stop the ‘fake work’ she was doing (designing a website, content marketing, giving free coaching), and start doing the ‘real work’ of getting paying clients through the door.
Katies answer was "OK. But deep down, I’ve known that for months. How do I stop myself from procrastinating even more, and start actually doing the thing?"
Well, here’s my 3-part strategy for *finally* doing a task you’ve been putting off for ages:
- 🎯 Make it your top priority. When you feel averse to a specific task, literally anything else will feel really tempting (taking out the bins, writing an email to your friend, cooking a 3-course meal). So, ruthlessly prioritise the exact task you’re putting off. The longer you let it wait, the more you’ll associate that task with stress and failure... making it even harder to start.
- 📅 Put it in your calendar. Choose a block of time (sooner rather than later) to do the work, and put it in your calendar. This won’t automatically get you to do the thing. But it'll protect your time, and take away the “I just don’t have enough time” excuse. Bonus point if you set up a notification for 30 minutes before the time.
- 🏗 Take the MVP approach. The startup world has this concept of ‘minimum viable product’. What’s the most basic (yet functional) version of your product that you can create and test out? This lets you get real-world feedback faster, and stop being a perfectionist (it’s just a crappy first draft after all). You also get momentum from actually doing something tangible.
The MVP method is incredibly helpful for overcoming procrastination. Aim to do the most basic version of the task you’re procrastinating on. For Katie, that involved drawing up a Google Doc with her offering and prices, and emailing it to a bunch of prospective clients with the link. No fancy website, no paid marketing, no working with agencies.
This all boils down to one piece of advice: take the most direct route to your goal. Sure you'll mistakes. But that'll accelerate your progress more than just tweaking your master plan and making no mistakes at all.
Have a great week!
ICYMI: Check out last week’s newsletter for more context on my chat with Katie.
🛒 Shopify Starter Plan – Launch Your Online Business for $5
If you’re thinking about selling products or services online, I highly recommend the Shopify Starter Plan.
It lets you set up your own online store in a couple of minutes, with no personal website or coding involved. All for $5 a month. You can then sell on practically any social media (Facebook, Insta, TikTok, Spotify, etc).
The Starter Plan includes an admin dashboard where you’ll manage orders, analyse sales, and talk to your customers. It’s great for creators who are just starting out, and you can upgrade to a full Shopify membership later as well. Check out the Shopify Starter Plan using this link.
Thanks to Shopify for sponsoring this issue 🙏
♥️ My Favourite Things
📝 Article - How to Get Insanely Rich in the Creator Economy by Nat Eliason. Nat gives a great breakdown of how the creator economy works, but it slowly turns into a dark, ironic takedown: “You traded in one trapped life for another, but you can’t grumble about this new cage you’re in because you built it for yourself.”
📚 Book - The Three Alarms by Eric Partaker. I’m really getting into this book. It’s got a cheesy subtitle (‘Transform Your Health, Wealth, and Relationships Forever’). But there are a lot of genuinely good insights on creativity, working distraction-free, and not chasing the wrong things in life.
🎧 Audiobook - Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson. This is Book #3 of the Stormlight Archive. I just re-listened to it on Audible, and I’m moving straight on to #4, Rhythm of War. It’s going to be glorious.
📚 Book - The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl R Trueman. A slightly controversial book about how modern culture got obsessed with identity. Tries to describe all the changes that happened in society order to understand the phrase ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’. Not sure I agree with all the takes, but it was an interesting read.
🎬 My New Videos
🪴 My Complete Studio Tour (2022) - I take you on a tour of my London studio, discuss different filming setups, and look at my finances to see if the studio is really worth all the money we pay in rent.
👴🏻 How To Retire Early - A Guide to Financial Freedom - If you’re anything like me you don’t want to wait until you’re 70 to live your best life. This is my video guide to ‘retiring’ early.
✍️ Quote of the Week
I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of folks who are unhappy at work tend to equate a “good job” entirely with money, benefits, and security, rather than whether it allows them to express their talents.