I completed each of the Day 1 through 6 challenges in Nathalie Sisson’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge on the day they were issued, until yesterday. I was so tired after work that all I wanted to do was collapse on the sofa and watch a week’s worth of Eastenders that I had recorded.
Day 7 Challenge: For today’s challenge I want you to pick one imperfect action that you can take every day that will move you closer to the life you have envisioned. It could be 5 minutes of walking or meditation, or even just continuing the momentum of this challenge and keep writing 200 words a day on your blog. Pick that one imperfect action and write a post about why you chose the particular action and what you imagine it will be like if you do it every day for the next 30 days.
After my vegetative evening, it was amusing this morning to see that the Day 7 challenge is all about procrastination. The task is to choose what Nathalie calls an “imperfect action” and do it every day. This will, she claims, help me overcome procrastination and “overwhelm.”
Blogging about procrastination
I’ve written about procrastination twice before, and in both cases I was procrastinating by writing a blog post instead of whatever I was supposed to be doing. In “The Artful Procrastinator,” I listed all sorts of very useful suggestions for what you could do with your time if you want to procrastinate, but not feel too bad about it afterwards. In “Procrastination,” I couldn’t face the remaining pile of essays I needed to grade, so instead I ridiculed them publicly (without names, of course).
What to do about procrastination
Nathalie points out, in this challenge, that part of the problem is feeling like whatever we’re working on has to be perfect.
She’s right. I can be so afraid of making a fool of myself that I just can’t let my efforts go until they’re absolutely perfect. And even when I do let go of a task, I find fault with it later and kick myself for not perfecting it.
Nathalie suggests that, instead, we should go ahead and perform one “imperfect action” a day. Then we can improve on it later, gradually.
(I have to say, though, that that sounds like another example of procrastination: “I’ll work on it more later.” Hmm.)
The point, though, is to go ahead and do it, rather than to feel so overwhelmed with the difficulty of doing the task perfectly. That makes sense to me.
(Another thing I just have to point out: Nathalie titles her post “Procrastination and Overwhelm.” My grammatical eagle eye says “overwhelm” isn’t a noun. It’s a verb, as in “The rushing river overwhelmed the small canoe.” It’s most often used as an adjective, though: “He burst into tears, overwhelmed by the magnificence of the view from the mountaintop.” Just saying.)
An “imperfect action”
Getting back to the challenge, though, I think my “imperfect action” has to be about using Zazzle. This is an on-line store that Betsy and Pete Wuebker suggested in a TBEX workshop. On Zazzle, I can create and sell items using images of my own. So, for example, I could put one of my photos or the drawing of an elephant from the top of my blog on a tee-shirt or on an array of other items. Then I can link “my” store to my website and perhaps earn a bit of passive income on it.
This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time, along with setting up an Amazon store. About two years ago, I spent an afternoon trying to put the elephant and a quotation on a tee-shirt. I gave up in frustration. I couldn’t get their site to set it up exactly as I wanted it.
So my “imperfect action” will be to set up a Zazzle store. It will have to be a succession of actions, of course, because it’s a big job. I think, though, that if I put in, say, 15-30 minutes per day, I could accomplish a lot.
At the end of 30 days, it might not be perfect, but I should have some merchandise on-line and available for sale.
(I’m also redefining 30 days: I will be away for about a week in October so my 30 days is not entirely consecutive.)
Wish me luck, and a bit of “stick-to-it-iveness”!
This blog post is in response to Nathalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7.