“When a customer decides to do something later, they mean never.”
Lately I have been, well…stuck. I know that it’s time to become aggressive in my marketing efforts, and I’ve been pretty much frozen in place.
I succeeded in putting up my freelance website, but I haven’t marketed it. I have started making prospect lists, but I haven’t contacted these potential prospects. I started a LinkedIn profile, but I haven’t finished it.
When are you going to do these things, you ask?
The dreaded L word.
How Putting Off Till Later Cripples Writers and Other Entrepreneurs
The problem is, planning to write and market later doesn’t pay the bills. So every time something is postponed, procrastinated, put off or designated as “to be done later”, the clock keeps ticking.
Many of us live by the phrase quipped by Mark Twain, “Never put off till tomorrow what can be done the day after tomorrow just as well.”
It may sound morbid, but we are all given a finite number of days. And each day you waste is a day that you aren’t going to get back.
I suppose you (or I) can’t be productive all the time, but the goal needs to be that we move consistently forward on a daily basis, even a little bit forward.
Now, not later.
Making a Plan to Overcome the L Word
Overcoming the dreaded L word (later) and its cousin P words (procrastination and postponement) requires making a decision.
It requires taking action.
It requires making a plan.
The best way to overcome inaction and stuckness is to plan ahead. If before you go to bed at night, you decide exactly what you’re going to work on the next day, there’s a better chance it’s going to get done.
We live in a digital age filled with constant stimulation and noise. Sometimes it’s hard to know what we need to pay attention to.
In my case, I need to prioritize the tasks ahead of me. What is the most important task that I need to complete today? The one that is most likely to make me money sooner rather than later.
Reading emails doesn’t qualify. Playing video games, browsing the web aimlessly in a stupor don’t qualify. These are things that need to be put on a back burner.
I have heard other writers say that they require themselves to write a certain number of words when they get up in the morning before they allow themselves to open their email or Facebook, or maybe even before going online at all.
However you go about postponing postponement, the time to get something done is now.
Or as Pablo Picasso said, “Only put off till tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”