Recently I found myself stuck; stuck in neutral. Let me give you a little backstory: I had what I believed to be a good foundation for a sales book back in 2006 and wrote the outline, created the content and started writing it. Like most projects I hit a rough patch where the work got hard and I shelved it. Since I wasn’t really a “writer”, I saved it onto my computer and left it there.
Fast forward to 2009. During recovery from my heart surgery I found it and started on it again. I had several weeks where I was stuck at home all day, every day and got quite a bit of work done on it. But, as soon as I was released back into the world—it became an afterthought again. Back to the mothballs it went.
Recently I joined a great group of people at the Speaker Co Op in Dallas and met Jeff Klein. Jeff’s a professional speaker and trainer and he and I immediately hit it off. I confided in him I was working on a book (if you could call it “working”) and I really needed to finish it. He got his calendar out and gave me a deadline of March 10 to have the first draft done.
What? A deadline?
He also told me I needed to be between 20 and 25,000 words when complete.
What? Really? I had maybe 5,000 words done in the last eight years and now he wants me to do that in less than a month?
On March 7 I sent 21,192 words to my editor and am shooting to have the book published by May 1.
So what happened? Did I suddenly become a better writer? Did I somehow find superhuman strengths at the keyboard? No, I got a deadline and someone I was accountable to.
Are you stuck in neutral on a project? Perhaps reading a book or even writing your own? Taking a college course? Completing a project you’ve been working on for years or maybe decades?
It’s time to get unstuck. It’s time to have a deadline. It’s time to get out of neutral and back into drive—if not overdrive.
If you’re reading this, I want you to circle June 27 on your calendar. Go ahead, do it now—I’ll wait.
June 27 is effectively the end of the second quarter. Whatever project you have working I want you to finish it by that date. Figure out how much work has to be done each month, each week and each day in order to hit that date.
What is it you’re working on? Let me know and I’ll be your accountability partner. I’ll be the person asking you on June 27 how the project looks.