In September 2019, I made a list of 12 things I needed to do before I was ready to launch my daily blog.
Some of them were things I had to do like pick a name and decided whether to have the option of likes and comments. Others were things to think about, like deciding whether to have social media for the blog and what the Instagram feed would include.
I didn’t complete all twelve things before I began but things still turned out pretty good.
Looking back over the list serves as a useful reminder. You don’t need to do as much as you think you need before you get started.
So often, we end up using not being ready or not prepared enough as an excuse to not begin which comes from a place of fear, it’s rarely because we actually need more time.
Or how to get caught in false productivity, when really you’re just wasting time.
You could spend forever planning if you really wanted to. You could write lists, create mind maps and make a 12 month plan. You can do all of those things and make no progress on the project you are planning for.
Sometimes, we hide behind planning because we don’t feel ready to begin.
And it’s not to say that planning is bad, it’s a good thing.
However, a big reason for over planning is because you don’t want anything to go wrong. But eventually you have to get the point where you realise that you just can’t plan for everything.
As much as you can try to plan, It turns out that most of the time we’re better off starting and then tweaking and making things better as we go.
I could probably write a book on what Sundays mean to me and how I spend them. This all came about after I started working full-time. Sundays were for ironing my clothes, preparing outfits for the week ahead and doing my hair whilst catching up with online classes.
Overtime Sundays have also become a day for writing blog posts, taking photos, editing, making plans for the week ahead, reading and relaxing.
I find that even though I don’t put any pressure on myself to be productive, Sunday tends to be the day where I get the most done.
I use Sunday to set myself up for the week ahead. It’s important for me because it allows me to be prepared when Monday rolls around.
Despite knowing that the best laid plans often go awry, we often still find ourselves meticulously planning for the future.
However, like all things, planning is great but only in moderation.
But you have to allow yourself room to be fluid. Too much planning leads to rigidity, prevents innovation and restricts creativity.
It’s like when you have to go from A to B, you should plan your journey but if you try to plan out everything you will encounter along the way you’ll be less open to the unexpected. On the other hand not enough planning and you’ll just end up lost
It’s really just about finding the right balance.
One thing I’ve notice is how busy we all seem to be. We’re constantly going from one thing to the next and wishing for more hours in the day.
But how often do you consider that it’s a choice?
Do you ever consider that you can stop, slow down and do less?
We fill our days with meetings, social media, main projects, side projects, shows, music, YouTube, socialising and so on.
But what if instead you decided to be a little more intentional about how you spend your time.
Instead of filling up your day with a bunch of stuff, why not be more selective? Why not pick and choose what is actually worth doing?
Furthermore, you could even block out time each day or week to do specific things or even just time to do nothing.
Most people have some kind of plan. Even if it’s just a loose idea of how they would like things to be.
You carry it around with you wherever you go, it influences the choices you make.
You say yes to doing that thing that will help you progress and hopefully make things easier in the long run. You say no to things that are fun, exciting and interesting because you consider them a distraction.
But then sometimes something or someone comes along and disrupts the plans you made.
It could be someone that makes you realise that you’re settling, a listing for an amazing kind of job that you didn’t even know existed or meeting someone that went down a non-traditional route and has managed to make a great life for themselves.
Your eyes become open to the possibilities of life. You realise that the plan you made was created to give you a safe and stable life rather than being something you were truly passionate about.
As much as you might want to focus on other stuff, it will always be worth putting some time into branding. It’s important to think about how things look to an outside eye and understand if you’re able to deliver your intended message.
I’ve always wanted The Daily Gemm (TDG) to be a space with writing and simplicity at the forefront and that’s what I focused on when I started posting to the Instagram account a few months ago. However, I’ve realised that although the simplicity element works well on the blog, it doesn’t translate the same way on Instagram. I realised that I might need to do start doing things differently.
After giving it things more thought and thinking about the grand scheme and my future plans and aspirations, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the TDG Instagram account to represent my long-term plans as a brand, rather than just to represent this blog.
And so over the past week or so I’ve been coming up with ideas for how I could do things differently in a way that works for me.
One the first things that came to mind was more visual content and more colour. Currently the TDG feed is full of quotes from my blog posts in black and white. But it turns out the ‘just words, no pictures’ philosophy that I have for this site doesn’t fit for Instagram.
On one hand my grand plans for Instagram have come crashing down but on the other hand it taught me a lot. I’ve now gone back to the drawing board and spent time planning and creating things that I’m looking forward to sharing.
Is to start.
Not soon, not later and not tomorrow but now.
So often we find ourselves overwhelmed by our ever-growing to-do lists that we end up thinking more planning, more thinking and more organising is the way forward. But at the crux of it all without taking action, nothing is going to change.
You’ll be surprised at how at ease you feel once you start getting things done and actually commit to it for a chunk of time wholeheartedly instead of half-heatedly. Not long after starting you’ll find yourself getting into the flow of it and the anxious feels will begin to simmer.
Often it is merely the thought of doing the work that is causing you to feel overwhelmed not actually doing it.
I’d love to know what you like and would want more of in the future from The Daily Gemm.
It could be more about my career journey as I work on developing myself, stuff on overcoming anxiety, habits and practices, my writing process, becoming more confident or just more about Debbies brother.
I have a good idea of what I’ll be sharing next year but if there’s anything in particular that you’ve enjoyed from me this year then I’m happy to do more of that.
It’s also Christmas Eve today so think of your feedback as part of a gift exchange, one that will be returned in the new year.
Sometimes, we plan for things and think that as long as we assess all possible outcomes nothing can go wrong.
But there will always be times when things don’t go to plan. It’s not because life is against you or that you didn’t prepare enough.
It’s just the way it goes sometimes.