I work for myself and because of that, my schedule (i.e., time) is pretty much my own. I seldom set an alarm. The first hour or two of my day is spent sipping coffee on my lanai, looking at the water, and thinking. Sometimes I write or make a to-do list, but it’s all very relaxed. In short, I waste a lot of time. I am the ultimate procrastinator. And that is something that no longer works for me.
You may have heard the saying a job or task takes as much time as it is allowed. A book can take a year or more to write. Some books take literally a lifetime. Most books (nine out of ten) are never completed.
Fortunately for me, my ghostwriting clients set the deadline for their book. Nothing motivates me more than having to complete a draft or a finished product by a certain date. But my own stuff… that’s a different story.
I was reading Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth Real Estate Investor (written with Than Merrill and Paul Esajian) and Gerber said something that stopped me in my tracks. He said, “We say time is money but time is life.”
I have at least 10 books in my “want to write” queue. Some are fiction, some nonfiction. They are in various stages, from just an idea scribbled on a scrap of paper to one or two that are fairly well outlined. I have one book that has been ready for release for months but I can’t quite let it go. (What’s up with that?)
I have all these books I **want** to write and I have all the time I need to write, yet I don’t.
I have no deadlines.
No one is standing over me, telling me they need to have that book DONE by such and such a date.
So I futz around and drink my coffee and while the hours away.
I’ve been reading Gerber’s stuff for years. How did I miss this?
Michael Gerber put it in perspective for me. I know I’ve heard his message couched in 20 different ways, probably for decades. But his particular slant created the connection I’ve always missed.
The expression goes “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
In this case, it was a matter of “When the student is ready, the teaching will become apparent.”
We all have a deadline. Unfortunately we don’t know when it is.
So think about that. We’re not just wasting time. We are wasting life. Act accordingly.
PS: If you haven’t read The E Myth Revisited, you should. Now.