I write computer training manuals for my print-on-demand courseware company and each day, I tell myself that I will write at least one section, no matter what. To ensure that this is done, I do not allow myself to go to bed at night until I have written my one section. Now, I admit that there has been a night or two where I found myself at my desk at 1:00 am, frantically pounding away at my keyboard so that I could go to bed. Now, this doesn’t mean that I cannot write more than one section – in fact, most days, I write 4 or 5. But the point is, that I must write at least 1.
A few years ago I began the task of transcribing my paperbound journals into an electronic journal application. I have drawers and drawers of journal notebooks. But as part of my daily routine, I key in one entry. By chopping away at this a little at a time, I have almost completely finished entering them in – that’s 30 years of journals we’re talking about.
I have also written two novels the same way – by writing them a little at a time. I agree that writing 300 pages certainly sounds like a lot; however writing 1 page a day certainly seems manageable. Just think – if you write just one page a day, by the end of the year, you will have written 395 pages – an entire novel.
5 ways to accomplish goals “a little at a time”
- Make a promise to yourself that you will do your daily quota – no matter what. Tell yourself that before you go to bed, you must have kept your part of the agreement.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make sure your daily goal is reasonable. Planning on writing 25 pages a day may not be an attainable goal in the long run.
- Put it in writing. For many of us, if it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist. Put your daily goals on paper or in electronic format so you can review them later.
- Review your list regularly. This is the key in making regular, daily progress on your goals. Post your list where you can see it or send yourself an e-mail reminder to occasionally to review your list. Some people may want to add a daily reminder on their electronic calendars.
- Don’t add too many daily “to do’s” on your list. If there are too many goals on your list, you may become frustrated, short on time and end up abandoning your list completely. I recommend including no more than 3 items on your daily “must-do-no-matter-what” list. When one goal is accomplished, add another.
By using the “little at a time” concept, you can easily accomplish your goals – even the big ones.