May 28, 2019
The Only Boss Who Matters
By Rochelle Melander
Imagine that you have a boss who is eagerly awaiting your next writing project. She will rejoice when you finish it. He can’t wait to get it out into the world.
Who is this mysterious person?
Your future self.
My friend and colleague Margaret Rode posted this article on Facebook, “Work Like the Client is You in Two Years.” For some time, I’ve been living and working by the motto, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” That motto has helped me exercise daily, eat better, and wear sunscreen.
But reading this article gave me a new way to see my future self: as my most important client. Since reading it, I’ve been logging hours every week on a writing project that doesn’t have a publisher or a deadline.
When it comes to doing work that doesn’t have a publisher, it can be hard to commit our time and energy to it. We have other projects with deadlines, not to mention day jobs and families. We must conquer the inner critic who is telling us, “What does it matter? No one will read this.” But when we are working for our future self, we do have someone who wants to read our work—and that can make all the difference.
If you’re struggling to get writing done, try working for your future self. Here’s how.
Consult your future self
What would he or she like you to accomplish by the end of the year? What would make her feel like the year was a success? What project would add the most value to your life? Choose a project to work on.
Plan the steps
What small steps would you need to take to finish the project for your future self? Break that goal into as many small, doable steps as possible. If any step feels scary, then it’s too big. Break it down into smaller steps until each one feels doable.
Do the math
Review your steps and the calendar—and do the math. What do you need to do each week to meet your goal?
Schedule It and Write!
Block out time every week to work on this project. Remember that you are working for your future self. Do anything that helps you stay accountable—such as keeping a time sheet or writing a daily report. Whenever you get stuck, remind yourself that your boss—your future self—believes in you and is counting on you to do your work.
Review and Revise
Once a month, take a look at your progress toward your goal. If you’re keeping up with the project, give yourself a pat on the back! But if you’re struggling, you might need to make some tweaks to your project, plan, or schedule. If you need help with this, contact me for a consultation. Often, a coach can help you figure out what you need to do to get back on track.