May 16th, 2018
The digital nomad scene is exploding, with creative types foregoing traditional employment for a life of location independence. It's hard graft, made easier with a splash of passion, but progress can be slow and frustrating. Waiting around for lightning to strike might work for one in every thousand people, but generally success doesn't come like this.
The joy of freelancing is working when you feel like it and resting when you don't. However, this way of living can lead to too much rest and not enough work. Some remote workers overcome this by forcing themselves to work standard 9-5 hours, but this comes with all the same drawbacks as getting a regular office job. So how can you find that balance between a rigid schedule and a complete lack of structure?
For this, I recommend a concept called 'Don't Break the Chain'. It comes from a method used by Jerry Seinfeld to write funny jokes everyday. He decided that if he can just do something everyday, he will always make progress. I have taken this idea and applied it to writing a book. Everyday, I work on my book. I don't set a target for this, I just simply ensure that I work. Every. Single. Day.
This ranges anywhere from writing a single sentence to half a chapter. It doesn't matter what I do, as long as I do something. No matter how ill, sleep deprived, hungover, busy or sad I am, I will always do something to advance my book. What motivates me to do this? The chain! Everyday I post on Instagram a picture of my work space or related photo. Once I had a string of a few Instagram posts, I never wanted to break the chain.
No matter how much I don't want to work, I find at least a couple of minutes to read a text. I could even just write one word if I wanted. Although, once you have a word, you might as well write five more and add a full stop. No matter how little I write, I am progressing. If I didn't have this chain, I might go weeks without making any progress. This method may not achieve as much as I could in a 40 hour week, but it achieves something.
And if I write a bit of my book everyday, then eventually I will have a whole book. I will have achieved a lifelong dream, that I never thought I was capable of.
So what is your dream? Is there a single ideal you can point to, which can be worked on everyday, even if it's just for two minutes? Try creating a chain of your own and eventually, little by little, there's no other option but to hit your goal.
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