I love running my own business. No question. But, I miss having someone else lay out a timetable and tasks for me that help me get things done and even push me towards something better. I have to do that on my own, and I’m not very good at it. In fact, I’m embarrassed to say, that for the past two years, I haven’t been able to stick to a work schedule I create. And it’s keeping me from doing what I need to do to reach my goals.
Before two years ago, I worked mostly as a freelance writer. That gave me a lot of structure in my day. I would get requests for articles with topics and deadlines, and I was able to plan out my time and feel productive at the end of the day.
But, now I need to come up with my own content, and while I have a lot of topics in place, I don’t have a daily schedule or concrete deadlines to help me get that content written.
I’ve Made The Schedules And Deadlines, But They Don’t Work
I have made numerous schedules and stuck to them for a few days or a week at most. Then, I decide that because I can’t stick to them, they must not be working for me so I need to come up with a new schedule. But that schedule doesn’t work either, so I spend weeks (okay months) wondering what I should do.
That’s why I ultimately spend a lot of time just doing whatever pops up at the moment – usually watching YouTube or scrolling through stats, which is not moving me towards my goals as straight or as fast I would like.
The Concept Of Parenting Yourself Has Made Me Realize Something
Not long ago, I published a guest post about the 5 Second Journal by Mel Robbins. I don’t own one myself, but I occasionally watch videos by Mel Robbins on YouTube.
Today one of her videos popped up in my feed. It was posted months ago, but it’s exactly what I needed to hear.
The underlying message is that you need to parent yourself because no one is going to make you do the thing you will never feel like doing.
It’s only 4:53, so I recommend checking it out if you aren’t getting done what you know you should be getting done.
You’re never, ever, ever, ever, going to feel like doing the things you need to do in order to have what you want. – Mel Robbins
I need to parent myself. Ooh, that’s good! That’s what I needed to hear!
I need to tell myself to do the stuff I don’t want to do so that I can be everything I’m supposed to be.
It’s Adulting 101
I’m currently reading a book called Adulting: How To Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps. In my opinion, the book would be best for people in their twenties as it contains a lot of common sense advice on things you learn through experience and age, but it’s still made me think about being a grown up.
In fact, this morning, before I watched Mel Robbins’ video, I realized that a lot of the book could be summed up like this: do things that you don’t want to do.
As kids, we can get away with being lazy, waiting for someone else to help us, and letting others take care of us, but as adults, we don’t have that luxury anymore.
I suppose there are some exceptions, such as my lazy and entitled 45-year-old brother-in-law whose mommy AND wife take care of his every need. But, most of us, don’t get or want that kind of treatment as an adult.
I Need To Make Myself Do What Needs To Be Done
After watching her video, I realized that, in a way, I’m looking for someone to make me do the things I don’t feel like doing but should be doing to reach my dreams. And, I’ve realized that no one’s coming.
I’ve also realized that it wasn’t the schedule that was working against me. It was my inability to parent myself. I wasn’t telling myself how important it was to do the things I need to do, and I wasn’t making myself do them.
I thought that because I wasn’t feeling magical about doing what I need to do, I wasn’t doing the right thing. The thought that I should be bouncing out of bed excited to do what I loved doing was always playing in the back of my mind. But, as Mel Robbins said, you are always going to need to push yourself.
The 5 Second Rule
Luckily, Mel Robbins has something to help you parent yourself. I read all about this when I learned about the 5 second journal, but I didn’t comprehend how important it was. I do now.
The 5 second rule goes like this: When you have an idea to do something, take action in 5 seconds.
For me, I’m going to create my schedule, post it by my computer, set my alarms according to my schedule, and when I realize that I should be working on something, I will immediately get working on it.
This will ensure that the impulse to NOT do what needs to be done doesn’t win. Instead, I will get to work on my schedule and do what needs to be done.
I can’t keep going the way I’m going or nothing will change. That’s why I’m pumped. I’m ready to parent myself, take action on things I know I should do, and move closer towards my dreams.