Underwood_no5This is a Talking Typewriter Production – Which means this video has also been turned into text. So…you can read this video below or you may watch the video itself, above. It’s the same stuff. It’s your choice.

Hi, this is Gary Goodwin, founder of The Stuck Creative. Welcome to Part 3: The Daily Appointment. Part 1 emphasized the why. Why do you want to work daily and the power that comes out of that. Part 2 laid out the secrets of how to set up, how to build your own daily appointment for work.

The first caution comes from sliding your appointment. Instead of knocking it out when you had scheduled, you decide to go ahead and move it later in the day or at least that’s what you think you will be doing. The caution here is if you don’t reappoint your appointment, the odds are you will continually push it forward, push it forward, and when the end of the day comes around, you will not have achieved your ten or fifteen or twenty minute work session. The secret is as soon as you know you can’t make your regular appointment, think through and visualize when and where you will be doing that appointment later in the day. Make it clear in your mind.

Another caution is when we know we’re going to have to take a break from our daily appointments, I’m talking about several days or longer, the last day that you’re working, take a moment or two and clearly mark it down or put it in your mind when you can pick up your daily appointments again. If we don’t do that, a lot of time can go by before we remember or before we jump back in to where we had been. A week can go by, two weeks, months can go by. All it takes is taking a moment and say, “Okay. I’m stopping here on April 15. I will be able to pick it up realistically again on April 20.” I put that on my calendar. I put reminders around the house or at work or wherever so I actually pick it up again.

The following are success hacks. In other words, how to increase the likelihood and success rates of getting to your daily appointment and getting through it. Some of them pertain to what to do before your appointment, a couple are about what to do within your appointment, and then a little bit about what to do after your daily appointment.

Before your daily appointment, build in a little bit of transition time. It doesn’t have to be a formal transition time, but it certainly should be a mental preparation time. The transition is that buffer ground or that space where you collect your thoughts, you let go what you’d been working on a few minutes earlier, and you anticipate what’s coming up next.

Also, mentally, expect resistance. That part of us that says, “I just don’t want to work. I don’t want to make the switch. I’ll just skip today, pick it up tomorrow.” Expect that. That’s normal. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re working on or the status of how the project’s going. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is just normal. On any given day, we’re going to be faced with three perspectives on our work. One is we’re fired up. We’re ready to go. We’re very enthusiastic. Other days, we’re going to feel resistance, lots of reasons are going to come to mind not to go ahead and do our work. Some days are just going to be neutral. Even feeling neutral has its problems because some people make the calculation if they’re feeling neutral about their project, then there’s something wrong with their progress. There’s something wrong with what they’re working on. It’s not true. Neutral’s fine. We should expect neutral or resistance days or very positive days. Whatever happens, whatever our sort of inner weather is, we should pursue and keep that ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five minute work period. Keep to our appointments.

Lastly, this could be part of the transition. We may need to take a little bit of time to refresh ourselves. There may be something like a few moments going outside, a cup of coffee. Whatever it takes, build that in a few minutes or half an hour ahead of your appointment so you can catch your breath, so you can revitalize yourself before your appointment.

If you go to TheStuckCreative.com, you’re going to find a tool there called the Tomato Timer. Sometimes it’s called the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a way to focus and concentrate and keep you in the room, keep you focused on your project and you’ll have to go there to learn a little bit more about it, but it’s a very valuable tool. It has helped lots of people.

Now, keeping score may not be the first thing that comes to mind that you want to do, but it is tremendously important. Ultimately, what we’re doing here is developing a habit. We have to look at consistency and the quality of our daily appointment. The consistency is keeping track and it can be very informal on a calendar, on a notepad, or there are apps for this. It’s keeping track of how many days did you make it to your daily appointment. Simply mark off on the calendar the days you make it. Take notice about the gaps in the calendar. Just see if you can keep a chain going of days that you’ve made it to your appointment.

The second scoring is around completeness of our work session. Some days we’re going to be able to complete 100% of our work session. No problems. Other days, we’ll find ourselves only able to complete 50% or 25% or whatever percentage less than 100%. We’re building a habit with our daily appointment so we should see any percentage that we’re able to complete, especially in the early part of this habit building as a positive experience and a positive accomplishment. I want to get away from the polar thinking of either we complete it at 100%, which was a success, or anything less than that was a failure. That’s not true. We’re building a habit. Habits need to be built over time and they’re a process. Each process that we can accumulate towards developing the overall habit is positive. Keep a score. This is an informal sort of thing. Here’s an example. You can see that there are various levels of scores. Keep track of that for each day that you work. If all goes well, over time, as the habit becomes stronger and becomes more automatic, you’ll find yourself more frequently than not completing your work session.

That’s it on this tool, The Daily Appointment. Extremely valuable. I hope you go to The Stuck Creative because there are more tools there, more resources, and I wish you all the success of working daily. This is Gary Goodwin, founder of The Stuck Creative.

Lastly, for more resources about getting unstuck and getting started and moving forward, please come over to my blog site TheStuckCreative.com. There, you’re going to find additional tips, you’re going to find links to other recordings and related materials and also links to recommended resources. I’ll see you over TheStuckCreative.com.

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