The ‘F’ button has helped me become an albatross

OK this is it, the big one, the big 30.

I have been building up to this one and I am aiming to do it in record time too. So excuse the fcuking seplling mistkaes!!

So when I have written about another 710 words and the magic green square pops up to say I’ve completed my 750 words today, then I will be awarded my albatross badge.

Yessssss!!!

Now all I’ve got to do is come up with another 670 words. This sometimes just flows nicely and now I am under the pressure of writing fast and well, to hit a target, the brain is ceasing up, the words aren’t coming……arghhhh!!!

Well isn’t the weather nice for September.

OK, enough fooling around, time to write properly and seriously, whatever that is???

Shame adding endless question marks doesn’t add to the word tally. So I am flying now in terms of speed and the typos aren’t too bad, yet!

I have been asked to write a few articles recently for various people and previously I might have said I would do them initially, then panicked about the work load and gone back to them rather sheepishly saying ‘sorry but no time’. Now having done this for 30 days in a row, I am more confident that I can write decent stuff (OK a bit of an exaggeration) and do it at speed.

I am really getting the writing bug now and that is something I have always wanted to do, however,I told myself the usual excuse of ‘never enough time’. Well, as a book entitled ‘Get off your arse’ by my mate Brad Burton will tell you, there is always enough time. You have just got to stop ‘dicking about’ as Brad puts it.

What he means is, if you are really determined to get something done, then look at what you’ve been doing over the last 10-15 minutes write it down and keep doing that, until you actually realise just how much time we do waste in our day-to-day lives.

I have realised that. It is sooooooo easy to lose focus, as we are all constantly distracted by vibrations. I don’t mean the sort that come from some mystic cult or from earthquakes, I mean the alerts that come on our phones. An new tweet, a Facebook Like, a RT, email, text and so on.

This is the challenge for all of us, as we realise the value of staying connected and making new connections. I do talks about the Connected Generation, how it is all now about the shared experience and how vital this is for the future of our businesses.

However, when you’ve really got to get something done, then you need to switch that stuff off. When I am doing my 750 words, I always try to find somewhere quiet to do the writing, however, if I can’t, then I just put my headphones on and shut out the world around me by playing music.

So I have now decided to write down an action list of all the things that I absolutely need to get done that day and I make that a short/achievable list. So this isn’t my much longer list of things that are to do. This action list is what I start with each day and I have learnt from reading ‘Eat That Frog’, that you pick the biggest/ugliest frog to eat first and you eat it bite by bite until it’s all gone.

However, sticking to that, is easier said than done if you allow the distractions to come in and then the dicking about will start up again.

So I have created an ‘F’ button, you heard it here first by the way, and this is an imaginary button that sits on the dashboard in my brain. The ‘F’ stands for focus. So the minute I start to feel that I am going off track………..press ‘F’ and then back on to it.

This might sound a little weird and might not work for everyone, but since I have been using it, my focus, productivity and results have all improved.

So I am into the home stretch now, just 50 words to go to get my albatross badge. I am imagining them opening the envelope on stage at the ‘750 Words all time greatest writers award’ ceremony. They are calling out the names of the contenders and then yes, they call me to the stage to get my award. There it is an albatross.

photo (8)

That’s it done, sadly though, 1 minute over my fastest writing time of 19 minutes.

One day away from an Albatross

Today is just one day away from being an albatross and that’s not to be sniffed at! It means I will have completed 30 days of writing my 750 words each day in a row without missing a single day.

albatross

It’s funny by having the arbitrary levels, that they have set, motivates me to keep going, I mean all I get is an online badge with a graphic of an albatross on it, it’s not like I even get a picture and I am certainly not going to be given the real thing as an award. Not that I’d know what to do with a real albatross, that has a wingspan of 12 feet. Plus I guess a real albatross would eat a lot of fish and smell pretty bad.

It shows that by having something to aim for no matter how small, has a big impact on our focus. It isn’t about the badge itself, it’s actually about the status of it and that as you write more and more, without a break, and as you write quicker, you reach an elite of writers on 750 words.

This is interesting in life, that we are often driven by very odd things. People set off thinking that it is going to be all about money and the perceived status that can be bought by money. As you get more money, you can naturally upgrade your status by having bigger and better stuff than the ‘Jones’ and therefore have more bragging opportunities.

However, most people work out that the money motivation wears thin pretty quickly and that it only tends to lead to dissatisfaction when you cant keep up. You then feel like you have failed because you can’t afford the next financial upgrade to your life.

Anyway so my point about the badges in 750 words is, that they were put there by the guys who wrote the app and they decided that 30 days of continuous writing was to be awarded an albatross. It could have been 28 days and you get a goat or 35 days and you get a goldfish.

The fact is that badge is enough to keep me going, especially as I have got closer and closer to it. Also the other factor in this, once you have gone so far from the ‘shore’ you feel less like giving up, as you have put so much in already. I have invested now approximately 14 hours of writing and about 22K words.

Therefore, the trick to this is to find other areas of your life that you can apply this to. After all, I can set my own badges for my own goals that I can achieve. In fact not just a badge, but a reward as well as a badge.

The badge is the recognition, the status symbol, that to be honest we all need in life. Not a materialistic badge, as they are just shallow.

So I am going to think overnight and add to my routines some badges that I can add, like to my weight loss target, to my marketing goals, in fact to any target or goal that I have set myself in my biz or life.

The next step is to then add a reward to each stage that I reach. Rewards are a critical part of success. Now for example, each pound I take off on the way to my target weight of 15 stone by end of October, I could reward myself with chips and a doughnut – joking. But I could say that each pound I lose, I could put some money towards a massage or some new sports kit etc.

It is important to celebrate success and it is important to get recognition from peers/family/friends. The measure of what success looks like is personal to all of us and it only you that can decide.

Success is a funny thing, that we tend to often look at it in very black & white terms. It’s either 100% success or we have failed. There is often no in between, we have it hounded into us that 2nd place is a failure. Life needs to be lived in the grey zone. Therefore we need to have a different outlook on success and realise that we rarely achieve 100% total success and therefore, we need to say that partial success is OK and isn’t a failure.

Failure really does not belong anywhere, as it is an opportunity to learn and then to be forgotten about and moved on from.

So add badges to your goals and celebrate the steps to your realistic success.