Why is the builder’s house half built? Why does the mechanic’s car need a service? Or in my case, why hasn’t the copywriter’s website been refreshed for… well, a long time.

It’s time I did something about it and I hope you’ll be able to help.

Let me explain…

For a lot of people, including me, nothing happens quickly unless there’s a real deadline to meet.

For example, if a client of mine says “anytime this month is fine” then the job won’t get finished until the end of the month. Whereas when they say “I need it this week” then sure enough, it gets done and dusted by Friday.

I think a lot of soloists work in this slightly haphazard way, and it can become a major source of stress.

One sure-fire way to stop a project dragging on unnecessarily is to promise someone that you’ll have the task finished at a certain time:

  • Tell your client that their job will be delivered by Tuesday at 11am
  • Book a meeting to present your new proposal at 3pm on Friday

Such self-imposed deadlines are not just useful for business. If you keep meaning to do some exercise, arrange to pick up a friend at 7am for a run. Unless you’re going to leave them standing on the corner, you’ll be there.

It’s all about making yourself accountable. The fear of letting someone down, other than yourself, is a big motivator. It only takes a minute. Make the commitment and it’s as good as done.

So, here’s where I need your help…

Think of one important thing that you’d like to do in the next three weeks – work or leisure. Then make the commitment via an online comment. Start with the words “By 10am on the 24th of April I will have…”

To get things going, I’ve listed my own task. It’s a job I’ve been putting off for a whole year.

In my article in three weeks time, I’ll follow up with a whip to see how we all went!

Got something that needs doing? Tell someone who cares.

Read 53 comments or add your own at Flying Solo

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