Sometimes the thought of right now can be overwhelming! We have so much going on in our lives that we feel we cannot one add one more thing to our already full plates.
I did not write this post to convince you otherwise. I wrote this post to give you and others and myself a different way of thinking about things that does not involve right now.
Because let’s be honest.
Right now is scary! And when we put right now demands on our brain it usually reacts in one of two ways.
Why Right Now Doesn’t Work
1. Our brain believes it has no other alternative than to take on this new thing immediately. This often causes stress for us and those around us. It’s kind of like the difference between being pushed into a pool or just diving in. There are times when we are pushed into a pool that we do in fact stay in a little while longer. But not often. On the other hand, when we dive into a pool we often stay for quite some time. And we can’t wait to go back in the next day.
2. Our brain says “screw it” and doesn’t even consider taking on this new thing. It says this could be cool but there is no way I could do this today. It believes it can’t be bothered right now and so it dismisses it altogether. This often results in a missed opportunity that may never return. It may have even been something that we would have really enjoyed. It’s just the whole “rightnowness” of it freaks us out!
I am here to suggest a third, and I believe, much more sensible approach. Now, I realize there are times when we do in fact have to get things done right now. As a building administrator I truly get that. But these aren’t the types of things that keep us up at night. These are the events that just happen and we have to react. And we do to the best of our ability.
Here is what I am proposing:
The next time something cool, fun, exciting or even a little bit daunting comes your way, convince your brain that whatever decision/action it decided to take does not have to be started right now.
Instead get together with your brain and ask the following question:
Can We Start This in the Next Five days?
This approach will do two things.
First, it will take some pressure off of your brain and not force it to freak out and think it has to make an immediate and rushed decision.
Second, it will give your brain the confidence to take on projects/tasks/initiatives that it never would have otherwise.
Right now is scary!
But 5 days is almost always doable.
Start to Read a New Book
Don’t miss out on reading something because you don’t have the book or you don’t have the time right now.
It doesn’t matter!
But can you get the book and at least read a few pages within the next 5 days?
Probably yes. In the next five days you can either download a digital copy of the book or you can order it from Amazon and have it at your doorstep. Then just read a chapter. Not the whole book!
You can take this first step and you can do this in the next five days.
Tip to get started
Here are a few possible authors/book series just to get you started:
Todd Whitaker, Dave Burgess, Peter DeWitt and the Corwin Connected Educators Series.
Oh and here is something cool. As you are reading the books by the above authors you can tweet them and guess what? They tweet you back. It is awesome!
Try it! I guarantee it!
Start Your Own Blog
This can be intimidating because what we often see are the finished, polished products of our colleagues. Don’t tell yourself that you have to create and blog and write a piece right now.
You don’t and you won’t!
But can you start this project in five days?
I think you can.
You don’t need to send it out to the world or even publish anything for a while. But you can tinker with websites and you can begin to think about what you might want to write about.
Your site does not have to look perfect and your writing does not have to be free of mistakes. Heck you don’t even need to write in complete sentences. Remember, as William Zinnser says writing is just thinking on paper.
You can begin this project in the next five days.
Tip to get started
Here is a quick 20 minute video put together by Michael Hyatt that can help:
“How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less”
This worked for me and I am not tech savvy at all!
Become More Active on Twitter
Twitter is fast and exciting and exhilarating and can oftentimes be scary. Especially if you’re just starting out. Because you may not know where to start.
You are comfortable on the roads you know. But jumping on Twitter can be like driving on an eight lane express highway. So many folks don’t even bother to take their car out of the garage.
Here’s what you do. You find five two or three folks on Twitter that cull through many pieces. See what they are reading and read what they read.
Take it a step further. After someone’s piece, write a comment. It doesn’t need to be profound and it doesn’t need to be long. Maybe just write a couple of sentences telling the author how much you liked their piece and how or why it resonated with you.
Twitter is intimidating! But you can read a couple of pieces and comment on them. You don’t need to do it right now, but you can do this in the next five days.
Tip to get started
Here are a few educators who always seem to find the best pieces out there:
Ben Gilpin @benjamingilpin
Star Sackstein @mssackstein
Todd Nesloney @TechNinjaTodd
John Spencer @spencerideas
Look them up on Twitter and simply click on a piece that interests you.
A New Way of Thinking
So there you have it.
Stop with the right now!
Ease up on yourself and teach those around you to do the same.
And just remember you can do this
In the Next Five Days!