Ohoh, you are doing it! Are you?
What I mean?
Procrastinating instead of working!
If you are here, reading my article, instead of doing something else that you know you should be doing, then you are procrastinating instead of working.
Stay here though, because this is going to get interesting. It might end up being so useful that you can get away with saying to yourself that “this was really useful” 😉
Planning is good, action is still better
Are you good at planning out big ideas in your head?
Congratulations. You have the ability to think about the big picture before actually doing anything. It’s a very important ability, slightly more important than just doing something without planning ahead, but it’s still worthless if you can’t get the point where you actually start doing things.
If you don’t get started, your big idea won’t become a reality. Not even your smallest idea will. Now hold that thought and let’s start with a little discussion of procrastination.
Procrastination is not automatically bad
Procrastination can be good. At least you could interpret it as a positive thing. I will tell you what I mean by that, but don’t you use these arguments against yourself whenever you are contemplating procrastinating …
First of all, without procrastination, you wouldn’t be looking at this site. This site can be interpreted as one huge work of procrastination. I wouldn’t agree, but I I know that you think that if I were not procrastinating and be honest to myself, I would agree. Which might be true.
Without procrastination, I wouldn’t have done many things. I wouldn’t have aimlessly researched and found interesting sites on the web. I would not have learned to promote my stores. I would probably just be making and publishing clips – and I would probably earn a lot more by doing so than I do today.
However, money is not everything.
It’s good to wander off and think about things once in a while. Surfing the web a little aimlessly, brainstorming with yourself. Just don’t let it go on for too long. Tell yourself you will do something important after 30 minutes of youtubing and googling.
Haha, right. As if that would work. You are constantly telling yourself that you should be doing something important. Maybe not even consciously, but in your head you just know it doesn’t feel right and you know it’s because of that other thing.
You procrastinate much?
Another important thing I learned through my own procrastination: I know when I meet another procrastinator. I notice it all the time.
Whenever people ask vague questions that don’t have clear answers, like if sales are usually bad around this time of the year, if they should do more of these clips or more of those, if they should change all of their descriptions – I think they know what they ought to do. At least, they know that the most important thing that could help them achieve their goals, is NOT asking vague questions. It makes them – why do I say them? It makes YOU feel better. No, it makes US feel better for a while, but it only postpones the necessary actions. They pile up, because we never start and then they overwhelm us and make us stop – before we even started. It’s a joke, right?
Sadly, we are not the ones laughing 🙁
I don’t need to be able to “detect” procrastinators. Neither do you, but I bet you have the ability. You know – maybe not 100% consciously, but you know when you are doing something that is not what you SHOULD be doing.
I am guilty as charged
I caught myself doing stupid procrastinaty-things just a moment ago, when I found out that procrastination can be a “reason” to buy stuff. It’s not a real reason, but maybe it’s the trigger. Interesting, because we need to know all we can about why people buy stuff, because we are (professional) sellers of – “stuff”.
So, as the story goes, I just bought a theme that I think will be awesome and I can already see the site run on it – when actually I had told myself about a hundred times that I need to write more articles and NOT do ANYTHING else. Well, I got a little bit of nested procrastination here, as I SHOULD actually be editing that new clip for my studio, then upload and activate it, promote it and then (maybe) write an article.
INSTEAD I am here, writing to you about how I bought this theme, which I didn’t even really buy yet, but I am strongly considering it, even more so after I just wrote that I already have it. Because now I want it for sure. Maybe one part of my brain even wrote that I bought it, just to convince the rest of my mind that I need to have it. Probably not. The thing is:
All of that happened because of procrastination. Nested, advanced procrastination.
Since it’s no use denying (lol – procrastination IS denying) I spent even more of my “actually”-time (which is the time that I should actually spend doing something else) to write about – no, to learn about – procrastination. And I did learn. A lot. As I spent a lot of time procrastinating to research procrastination. It’s like I am not only nested, but also meta-procrastinating.
So procrastinating actually lead to me doing this right now and although it feels better because I am doing something for someone else – guess who – I am not sure whether this wouldn’t have felt good to begin with anyway and the procrastination-feels are just icing on the cake.
Oh boy, so let’s get back on track here. I don’t need to write a lot about procrastination. I have a feeling that you know what it is and what’s going on.
I also have a feeling that you DON’t know how to stop it – why? Because you are still reading this, when you probably SHOULD be doing something else – right?
EXCEPT when reading this is a step on the way to your goal. And this is getting interesting now, because now we jump right into the middle of things and start solving your procrastination. Sadly, we can’t solve mine in the same way, because then I would stop typing and go do something more important, leaving you with a blank page from here on out.
So I save that for later and instead give you something useful to work with.
Get out of the procrastination claws
Let’s stop procrastinating and thinking about procrastination and start asking the right question:
Is there a way out of it? I think there is. There are guys saying procrastination is good. It’s our body telling us that our idea is not ready yet. Or our mind telling us that we need to stipulate a more clear path of action.
I found the last one to hold large amounts of truth.
When you had to do your homework as a kid, you often didn’t do it because it seemed like so much work. Since you had no choice, eventually you started doing it. I can remember that I OFTEN thought afterwards: “Oh, that just took 30 minutes” or “that wasn’t so bad” or even “hey that was fun” or just this huge feeling of relief – yes, even emptiness and disbelief – like “am I really done for the day? Can I just go out and do whatever I want now? Shit, that was easy”. I use the word emptiness because once that big clot (“still got homework to do”) in your stomach is gone, you feel so free, you feel emptied of all sorrows.
Now, although I remember these many times when I was happy that I had gotten my homework done and even when I knew it would feel great again – I didn’t do it the next day. Like what the fuck is wrong with me?! Why do I rather have this clot in my stomach while I am out playing?
So let’s get back to that one crucial thing: starting. Once you started doing your homework, chances are you got stuff done before you stopped. Maybe you didn’t do it all in one go, but you got something done.
So the important lesson is: get started.
Since we should actually know that we need to get started to achieve our goals, we have to break it down. It obviously is not the key information we were missing. Of course we need to start, but how?
Baby steps if necessary.
And I will note right here that there was a post on the stripperweb forum about how you can commence those tiny steps:
Tell yourself you are not doing anything for that big, important thing, but rather just tell yourself you will prepare to get started. Don’t be like “I will start my computer to edit this huge clip that needs to get uploaded” but “I’ll start my computer”. Then, when it’s started “I started the computer, so why not start the editing software”. “Since I am running the software, I might as well open that one clip that needs to be edited, just see what needs to be done – roughly”. “Since I am looking at it anyway, I think I should cut this first piece”. “Now that I cut it, this transition should work well, I might as well add that.” “Now that I put in that transition, let’s play it back to see how that looks”
Before you know it, you are doing the necessary steps to get to your goal.
My original idea was to talk about breaking it down into small steps, but if that doesn’t work for you, break it down by doing tiny steps that would just be requirements for the next step. In fact, we can note this:
- Make easy goals that you can achieve
- Make a step by step plan of actions to achieve your goal.
- If you can’t get started on the first step, do whatever you would have to do to be able to take that step. Tell yourself you are just preparing, tell yourself you are not actually starting to do the work
Stuff like this needs examples.
A person once told me:
As a kid, I couldn’t start on my homework. There was this hidden force that held me back and it was very strong. So my mom sometimes said: “You don’t have to start doing your homework, but please go to your room and get the books out, put them on the table and prepare a pen or two with which you could write. Get a piece of paper as well.”
“Good, now you don’t have to do your homework yet, but please just read through the assignments, gauge how long you would need to complete them, because dinner is ready soon.”
“I need a few more minutes, maybe you already have an idea about the first assignment. Quickly write that down before you forget it”
I must say, that was often all that was needed to get my autopilot started. I would sit down and solve the first questions, then, because I had already checked what I needed to do, I would just complete the homework in one go and forget about dinner.
In clipmaking, this could be:
“What was that one request about? I’ll just start the computer and read over it again quickly”
“To do that, I would need to grab these pantyhose, the camera, a card and set up the lights. I think I know where those pantyhose are”
“I know where the camera is and I got the card right here, I might as well prepare that and put the card into the camera. While I am at it, I can put the camera on the tripod”
“Now the camera points there, so this light should go there. Let’s turn it on and see if that works. Okay, I need that other light. Since the first one is on already, let’s quickly check the second one”
“Lights would be perfect like this, so maybe I should start a test clip to see how I look. I’ll record a small portion”
“Now that I recorded the test, I might as well put on the pantyhose and see how it looks under realistic circumstances for the actual request”
“Since I wear the pantyhose and got everything in place, I’ll just film a quick test run of the whole request”
“Oh this went well, I might be able to use this. Oh wait, I made the request! Yey!”
Does this sound stupid? Well, try it. It works. If it doesn’t, take smaller steps.
Your mind and body can only take so much ridicule. You would never admit to the fact and accept for yourself that you are NOT able to just hit the power button on your laptop.
You might admit to yourself that you are not able to write the first chapter of the novel tonight, or edit that huge ass clip for that matter. But you will not refuse to turn on the laptop. That’s just too easy.
Then you will not refuse to just start that one program. It’s in the quickstart after all, it’s just one click! Maybe two!
Then you will not refuse to import that file. It’s just two clicks! Even your mom could do it.
Then you will not refuse to hit play and watch the first seconds.
At a given moment, you have come too far. You have invested so much of yourself already, that it will get more difficult to “get out” than you might think.
Take the clip example. After putting on the pantyhose, it would be more work to turn off the cam, turn off the lights, take off the pantyhose, go back to your computer than it would be to hit record just one more time and make the request. At least, you get my drift.
We are animals at base and we want to be cost efficient. A hunting animal will always choose the weakest prey – because it’s the smallest struggle and thus needs the least amount of energy to catch.
It would be a huge waste of your energy to take those pantyhose off, take the camera, turn off the lights and leave, only to repeat the process the next day. At that stage, it should be easy for you to just get on with the clip filming, because your instincts tell you it’s cost efficient.
How do you “just try it” ?
You just need to try it.
And here we are again. How do you “just try it” ?
What is the first step that needs to be done, which can be done with your level of energy, your resources, your motivation, your skills, your …
Make and take YOUR steps. Everyone has different steps. If you do this correctly, you will trick yourself into doing stuff ALL THE TIME.
So, “why would that work” – you ask – “when I already know beforehand that I am tricking myself?”
I ask you: “Why didn’t it work before, although in your head, you knew exactly what needed to be done?”
It’s the same answer. We just work like that. Knowing something and doing something are completely different things, yet strongly connected.
You might have been knowing how to update your store all along, you might be knowing it since you read my articles here, you might even be someone who already had success with his/her store, but for some reason stopped updating.
Hell, you might even sit on a “goldmine” niche, where all you have to do is make the goddamn clips.
I know this one example from stripperweb where a user says (roughly): earning money on c4s is totally simple. Just publish 5 great clips every day. Yes! She is right. I know it, I have been saying (and even doing) that from the beginning, I have heard others say it. I have seen others do it successfully.
You know it will probably be better than what you do now. EVERYONE “feels” that it’s a good way of making more sales – produce more, update more, make awesome content.
Make more clips! Make good content!
It sounds so simple. It actually IS simple, but it’s not easy! Yes, there are the people that say “work smart, not hard”. We can do that later on. When we got the hang of producing clips constantly and doing all the “stuff” that just needs to be done. Because no matter how smart, every store needs to update to stay in the game. It’s the base of our work.
No clips, nothing to sell. Nothing to sell, no sales. No sales, no money! No money, no motivation! No motivation, procrastination! Procrastination, no clips. No clips, nothing to sell …
Now stop. Break the cycle.
Find your motivation
When motivation levels are higher, we can take bigger steps. When we are extremely motivated, it might be enough to have this general idea in your mind of where you want to go. Like “I want to be successful”.
But if your motivation is low, you have to take very small steps. Steps so small, that “even you” can’t say no.
Can’t turn on your computer? Move your fingertip. Now move your hand. Move your arm. Now move towards your computer’s power button. Push it in.
You can make the steps so easy and small that you wouldn’t be able to NOT do them, except when you were seriously (mentally) ill, like severe depression.
Since this is not a mental health blog and you have read until here, I think I am safe to say that we are all capable of getting our stuff done now.
You can always increase the steps later on. We are learning animals. Once you showed yourself that you can turn on that computer, you will start to believe yourself that you can do it. Then you will just do it.
You can train that for all the steps, until one whole step is “make the clip” the other step is “edit the clip, encode, upload” the next step is “update your studio with nice description and gif”.
You can always go back when a step seems too big, for example because you have that one clip idea that consists of 5 small clips that need to be done. Break it up. Make your personal steps!
Focus on the steps
Think about the big idea first. Set your goals. Then focus on the steps. No one climbs a mountain in one step. There is always a first, tiny step. Then a next step etc. The whole climbing of the mountain consists of thousands of little steps. Our task isn’t as complicated. We just need a few steps.
Don’t think about the big goal too much, just check: What is my next step, what do I need to do next? Action! It’s all about action now. There might be moments when you want to take the next step, but you realize that you already reached your goal.
I sometimes need to make 7 or 8 clips in a day. I just start with a list, then get to work. I set myself a time where I need to be done, a time where I can have a pause. Sometimes I sit down in my pause and notice that I “accidentally” did one too many clips before the break.
If you work like that, it’s much easier on you. Less stress, more fun, more efficiency, more clips. More income?
By the way, I didn’t buy the theme! Instead I finished this article. Yey!
Note: There are trillions of articles, even whole books on procrastination. Half of them were made by heavy procrastinators who needed something to waste time. I tried to condense the topic down to what we need and what (not only) I think will help. Surprisingly, writing this article totally threw me off schedule, but I think it’s worth it and I will be a better clipstore person tomorrow! Seriously! 🙂
Please leave a comment and voice your opinion! 🙂