I recently read a quote that knocked me off my feet.

A few months ago I set a goal for myself: I wanted to get 1 month ahead on my blog posts. If you have been here for awhile, you know that I am a MAJOR procrastinator and self-sabotager (link post)

In short: I am a perfectionist.

If I cannot do something absolutely perfectly, I often elect not to do it at all. Procrastination and perfectionism are the ways that high achievers manifest their anxiety: more on this in another blog post!

So, because I set this new goal of being one month ahead, I told myself that I need to block off a day in order to just WRITE. My goal was to write 4 blog posts in that day, edit them, schedule them and upload them. This would be AMAZING, as I would continue writing 1 new blog post per week during the month that the scheduled posts were going up, ensuring that I am always 1 month ahead on my blog posts until the end of time.

I’ll let you guess how well that plan panned out for me.

WHERE WAS I GOING TO FIND AN ENTIRE DAY TO EXCLUSIVELY WRITE? How? When? Where?

As the summer progressed and my plan seemed more and more unattainable, I became more and more discouraged, which led me to do nothing on my blog.

No posts were going up. 

Nothing was getting done.

I mean, what’s the point if I don’t have this crazy amount of time to get ahead?

Then, I read this quote…and everything changed.

The quote was from Dr. Toni Morrison (may she Rest In Peace). Dr. Morrison was an amazing author and activist and a blessing to this world. Someone asked her how she was able to write her first novel. She started her career later in life, I believe in in her forties or late thirties. At the time, she was a single mom with two kids. 

A reporter asked her a very simple question: “how were you able to write your first novel with all of your responsibilities?

Dr. Morrison then made an incredibly profound statement that has been with me ever since I heard it and has undoubtedly altered the course of my life. She replied to the reporter that said she wrote “in the edges of the day”.

In the edges of the day.

My hero!

First of all, can we shout out her ability to weave seemingly basic words together and create stunning visuals!!! She was the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all time).

In the edges of the day.

I can picture Dr. Morrison at the end of a long day, after putting her kids to bed, wearily sitting down for 30 minutes to write a paragraph. She nods off incessantly while trying to write, the weight of the entire day bearing down on her. 

An hour here. Forty minutes there. 

Writing at the soccer game while still trying to show your kids you are paying attention as they kick the ball down the field. 

Daydreaming about the characters and scenes in the next chapter as she stirred the pot on the stove. 

Setting her alarm an extra hour early and dragging herself out of bed before the sun rose and the kids began making their demands of her.

In the edges of the day.

It stopped me in my tracks.

Here I am, trying elusively to conjure up an entire day to write. “If I can’t find a whole day, then what’s the point!”

In the edges of the day.

My whole perspective changed. Yes, I CAN write in the edges of MY day. I began setting my alarm for 4:30-5:00 AM in order to write. If I happened to take the bus to work, I would write while the bus was driving. A spare 5 minutes as I am walking to the cafeteria for lunch became time that I could jot down some thoughts for the next post

What happened? Well, since implementing my Purpose in the Edges strategy, I have consistently uploaded a blog posts every single Monday at 5am! At one point, I was even ahead 3 weeks-not the full month, but close enough. 

Perfectionists like me enjoy deferring tasks until the timing is just right and the stars align to do what we need to do.

The problem is, the stars NEVER align and things will never be perfect. Here’s the kicker: deep down inside we KNOW that things won’t be perfect. We know. So, why do we do this? We do it because we are avoiding the anxiety that comes with doing the tasks, hence we set up unrealistic expectations for ourselves in order to avoid actually getting the work done. 

This stops TODAY. 

You can move your life forward in a positive way and the edges of your day. Just the little snippets of time here and there. The kicker is that, once you start, your mindset shifts. Doing the work helps motivate you to continue doing the work. 

Another amazing benefit of implementing the Purpose in the Edges strategy is that committing to doing 5-10 minutes of the task or activity that you are dreading because of anxiety is DOABLE. Knowing that I only have to do 10 minutes of writing doesn’t seem as daunting or overwhelming. 

Once I complete those 10 minutes, I feel super confident. It then allows me to have the motivation to do the next round of 10 minutes.

So, here’s the thing.

If you write for five minutes a day then guess what? YOU ARE A WRITER. Eventually you will get the blog post or book completed. 

If you dream about writing and continuously wait for the perfect time to write, then you are an aspiring writer. Aspiring writers do not make an impact on the world. Aspiring writers don’t help anyone.

If you exercise for 10 minutes a day, then you are an exerciser (is that a word?).  If you wait until you have 90 minutes of uninterrupted time 4-5 days a week you are not an exerciser. You are an aspiring exerciser. Aspiring exercisers do not reap the cardiovascular or mental health benefits of exercise (I am speaking to myself right now with this one!).

My purpose…your purpose is in the edges.

What tasks do you find yourself procrastinating on? When can you sneak in some time do do those hard tasks that will move you forward in life? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Peace and Love,

Kim