Sunday, 21 June 2020

How to stop procrastinating... Neil Mossey | Nanochunk is your FRIEND! Make Your Stuff Now

Got something that you really truly want to do, but just haven't started on it yet?
This is hands down the best way to stop procrastinating...
It's so good, that I hold back from using it because I know that when I start it won't stop until it's finished.

I call it Experimental Nano-Chunking.
We've all tried breaking things down to become simpler tasks.
But this involves breaking it down to the tiniest, smallest possible task.
And combining it with treating it like an experiment.

I walk you through the system, and filmed myself trying it out in real time on a few tasks I've been putting off. Experimental Nano-Chunking is so powerful, I ended up knocking all three out of the park having been knocking them back for months.
AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN by Tony Robbins (Amazon US)
(Amazon UK)

THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield (Amazon US)
(Amazon UK)



Hello I'm Neil Mossey, welcome back to the Happy Hut
I am a development producer: I help other people like creators and performers and executives to get ideas out of their heads to make people laugh. Most of the time intentionally!
I have done it a very long time - look, back when I even had hair... but I've got two secrets that I want to share with you in this video.


The first secret is that I put off making stuff.
I am really good at putting stuff off - and that's me being modest
I think... no, I know that I am one of the leading procrastinators in Britain today
I'm putting off stuff right now even while I'm talking to you.
Look at this wall

Look how much I'm putting off right now. That's all me!
So for this procrastination buster video you are in really good hands
My second secret is this: I think I have got the world's best technique for how to stop procrastinating
It's so good that I procrastinate from using it.

That if I even start using it, I always follow through with what I want to do - which is the thing that I'm putting off
I call it experimental Nano-chunking

See, making that jingle meant that I could put off making this video just a little bit longer - you know make the process just a little bit more complicated

Leave a comment below, I'd love to know how your brain sabotages you
I'm going to walk you through experimental Nano-chunking and it's come from me putting together two ways to stop procrastinating

The first came from this guy, Tony Robbins - I'll put a link down below in the description but in here - it's a thick book - he proposes an idea called chunking, which is all about breaking down a big task down into manageable chunks

So, writing a book might be a thing that you want to do today but that is too big and overwhelming so that you'll always put it off
He proposes chunking which is breaking it down into chunks like... write a chapter of a book or do some research

But even with that, I ended up with just lists of tasks
I carry these around with me is like a big stream of guilt
I call it a permafrost of tasks because I can't chisel away at it
To get around this I took chunking to an extreme and I combined it with two other ideas to create experimental Nano-chunking

And I'm gonna show you how it works
It all started with this over here

This is a hook that I use to hang up my bag
It's a really important thing because I put my equipment in here and take it home each night - and it was really annoying me that it was on the floor

For whatever reason I wasn't putting up this hook and this is the actual list where I created the technique of experimental nano-chunking
I wish I could remember who said it
It's a really beautiful single line: "Treat everything like it's an experiment"
I'll say it again "treat everything as an experiment".

The problem we have is that we want things to be perfect and we want the outcome to be ideal
That just stops us from from doing stuff

We put up these blocks to protect ourselves because if we do something and it doesn't come out right, deep down we feel like our life is under threat - even though it's not

It's a thing called the resistance

This is a brilliant book as well - The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Again I'll put the link below but he described the resistance which is this thing within us that stops us from doing the stuff that we really want to do and the great thing with the experimental nano-chunking is that it gets you around the resistance, because you are just treating everything like it's an experiment

It means that you can just try stuff out
And this is what I tried out.

I wrote down "what if I have my pad here and write out every what if as it occurs"
Well I did that task already so I could instantly cross it off
Then I wrote out "what if I were to put off wormmate until after the next what if?"

Now that was the online distraction of the day and that actually made me laugh and I think that is the secret of experimental nano-chunking, that you've got to write down these chunks in ways that are so stupidly small that it makes you laugh - actually makes you laugh out loud

But I realised that I had chunked down the task of putting up this hook for my bag down to the tiniest possible chunk, and so I'd given birth to the Nano-chunk

Which meant that I could now do the next tiniest possible nano-chunk
What if I were to hold my bag up to the wall to see where a hook might go?
And I did that and I hadn't died so I could cross it off the pad

I realised with experimental nanochunking that you have to do the smallest possible task and not cross it out and move on with your life until you've done it
I'd already done more about this hook in two minutes than I had in two months

What if I get a pencil?
I couldn't move on until I had got a pencil

What if - and I love that I wrote the next one with the pencil - what if I mark the midpoint with the bag (I might have to OCD a tape measure)
Now that's good. I could already see how I would over complicate this nano task and I preempted it and actually wrote it out

What if I go to the garage and fetch the drill box and bits?
Now here's how procrastination works. Already, because I'm making progress, my mind is flipping out all over the place and I'm throwing in all these other ideas and tasks so I just wrote it out as the next line - as the next Nano chunked task

What if I text Rob to tell him about JMcH or call.
That has absolutely nothing to do with me putting up a hook for my bag on the wall
I wrote it down and I did it and then I crossed it off the list
It's really important not to write more than one nano chunk at a time
The really dangerous thing with this system is that you can instantly think of lots and lots of little tasks and write them all down to work through, but as soon as you get more than one task it falls apart every time

You have to do it one line at a time

What if I mark the thing on the wall?
Now here the list ends and goes onto other tasks because I actually carried on and put the hook out
This system of experimental Nano chunking works

It's just a what if
It's not an order or a task

The other thing I found is that it helps to write the What If? as a process and not an outcome
So the What If is about doing something instead of how it turns out, and I'll show you that on these two examples

I managed to film myself back in January trying to get over making my video about a head shaver, and again last week when I made my DIY T-shirt face mask video
For both of those I really wanted to make the videos, but everything in my brain - the resistance - was telling me don't do it

You probably do this too
Leave me a message below if you do

It's either "the head shaver video is going to be rubbish so I don't want to start it yet" or the other extreme, "the DIY face mask video is really good so I don't want to start it yet and mess it up"
That's chronic procrastination

So let's see how I use experimental Nano chunking to do the things that I want to do
Okay here's a-- ahh, there you are!
This is a really good example

I've been putting off making a video about a new head shaver and I really want to make it because it's really difficult finding a good head shaver and there's some things that I think I want to say about what - is it called elective baldness?
I don't know - I'm kidding myself because I'm bald but I also shave my head
There's something funny in that
I want to explore that
I've got the system here

I'm just starting to do the system so why don't I turn the camera on and and record the process of using the Nano chunking experiment to actually crack a creative project that I want to make and put out into the world
So here's the list right here, but the first thing I wrote was "what if I go and get the key and plug in the Hut"

Yeah there wasn't any power on so I've plugged in the hut, so I've got power now
What if I get all the gear I can
So did that and I crossed it off and I'm writing these one at a time but I've just skipped ahead with this one
What if I warm up the hut to more than 13 degrees centigrade - so I've got the fan going

You can probably hear that
What if I get the tripod
Well I can do that now
There. Got the tripod
So now I cross that off the list
So what would the next one be

The next one would be "what if I put up the tripod" because I've got an idea for this video to have two cameras and I've got my setup here, so that I'll put one camera - well there goes the tripod - I put one camera there and then I can put this tripod up with these arms to get a second camera looking down

Even if it's a rubbish video and I think this is gonna be a terrible video - it's worth me doing this to have a new system for shooting two camera videos

My videos might be a little bit better, and I think that's why we stop doing these things because we know we're gonna get a little bit better at something
Anyway let's put the tripod up

So it's a bit difficult to do this one-handed
Now I've got my setup done I'll take a look at the temperature over here
It's now gone above something where I'll freeze my toes off so I can turn the heater off now and even better I can cross that to do item off my Nano chunk list

So I'm now up to date - I can still carry on writing one at a time
I find it helps to speak to myself like I'm five so I keep the language very very blunt
"What if I go and get the shaver?"

I love this system because it means I can devote myself completely to one single task
I've only got one task right now, and that's to get the shaver from over there to over there - it's all I need to do
There's the shaver - YOINK!

Here I am with the shaver, and I've got the camera in place now
I've got a second camera just slightly out of shot so I can film the table and I think... I think I'm set!
Except I'm not as you can probably hear the sound's a bit rubbish, so I need to go and get the- the microphone.

I can cross this off now, write:
"What if I get my microphone?"
Out I go again. Ugh! Slippers!

So now I've got the microphone... Oh I need to shut that!
So now I've got the microphone, I can cross that off my list
Off that goes.

I need to get things ready in here.
"What if I open, no, close the blind - oh - and plug the microphone in."
So I've written that on the list now, I can now plug this in - so that now works - hopefully that sounds better
Make sure this is switched off, I need to take my coat off and get ready

I'm kind of on a point of no return, and that's that's the thing with this nano chunking system - is that you do reach a point where you're kind of all in and it suddenly becomes a hassle to write down every nano- task
Sometimes I help for it to keep going, to keep them super small, so that you don't just suddenly stop - but...

I think I've now got absolutely everything in place for a task that I didn't want to do, even though I really wanted to do it, I haven't actually taken action to get started with it
And now I've got everything in place. I've got my second camera. I've got my microphone. I've got the Hut looking sort of how I want it to. It's still not perfect. I think the lighting isn't just right yet. I'm not entirely happy with how this second camera looks.

Let's hit record on that so I can show you
This isn't quite how I'd want it. I think I want the shot a bit wider, but I've got everything here that I need.
So then I hit record and made the video about the hair clippers.
I honestly thought that nobody would watch it.
Little did I know that two months later, international catastrophe emergency conditions: the entire planet has to stay at home and cut their own hair.

Suddenly the views of this thing go up tenfold and my video actually starts helping people to find the right hair clippers.
If this video is helping why not hit the like button to help other people find it, or the subscribe button to help me get to 10,000 subscribers - really appreciate it
Anyway here's the next example of Nano chunking.

It's actually the opposite kind of procrastination where I actually wanted to make something because I thought it was actually quite good!
Okay so this is a tough video to shoot
I'm stuck, and it's quite difficult to admit that I'm stuck. I'm gonna put the lights on.

So I'm stuck on, I'm stuck on this: look over here.
"Make a CPAP mask-- not a CPAP -- make a face mask with a t-shirt
It's a really simple dumb idea - something I really want to do
I really want to make a mask and I really want to make a video
Why can't I just make a video of me making a mask?

I've completely turned it into something bigger than it is, but I'm stuck and I've been sitting on this idea for about two weeks now?
So what I've decided to do is to get the camera out and make it even more complicated! Make a video about the video about the face mask
It's not because it's not a good idea - it is the exact opposite

It's because I know it's a really good idea as something that I really wanted to do and the more I want to do it the more I seem to block doing it
The resistance is that thing that when you have a good idea everything in your brain and body will conspire to stop you from doing it

And there's all kinds of biological reasons why we're programmed this way
Basically by doing something you really want to do - that represents change
And change biologically represents death, because you might change something and it might not work out and then you will die!

Okay that's how we're wired
So I'm going to use this system now to free me from this block
I hope it frees me from this block.
At least it's a thing to do while I'm not doing the thing.
I've done some free writing, just to bring my brain.

Look six pages of things in my head.
Got to the Nano chunking list, and this is my first nano chunking task
We're gonna break down all the tasks down to the absolute tiniest level
Open the t-shirt script in Google Docs

So I'll do that now
Scripts in here
I've got one document where I put all my YouTube ideas into, and my block is basically going through them and choosing them and making a decision and I still don't want to make a decision
So what I'm going to do now is everything except make a decision, so I can do all this other work and move it forward without having yet to make a decision

I'm gonna make that as small a thing as possible
It's really important when you're nano chunking to only write down one thing at a time
Only one tiny tiny tiny task, and cross it off as a little achievement for each step
So my next step would be: print out what I've got

I'll write down "print out T-shirt ideas"

So I've got all my t-shirt ideas here then the next step would be to read them
That's all.

Just read them, so I'm gonna get a nice drink and just read through them and I don't have to do anything else.
All I've got to do is just read what I've got
That's my one tiniest smallest task that I can think of right now apart from sit down and get a pen

Can I just say, cos I know I'm recording here - I so didn't want to read through these that I've ended up actually writing
I'm actually writing the script instead of doing what I should be doing - which is reading these!

That's okay because I wanted to read these to get to this, but what I have now done is to avoid THIS - I'm now doing THIS.
It sort of works

Oh sometimes this happens.
You get started on the Nano chunk task which was for me to sit down with a nice drink and to just read through what I've got, and then all these other things pop into your head of all these other things you should be doing

But if one comes up like "I need to get my glasses", what I do is... I do write that down as another task. Do it quickly, and then cross it off there and then.

So if other things start popping into your head like "I just need to check that" or "I need to get that" write them down as nano chunks and- and do them in order, and then you'll have to go back to the Nano chunk that triggered or these other thoughts

So you're still Nano chunking - don't move away from the Nano chunking.
Make the tasks even smaller - even smaller - even more ridiculous
Get my glasses.

Okay so here's an example now of the kind of stuff that will come up to just stop you from doing what you're doing

I'm on a point now where I want to find a clip that I want to put into the video and I know I've got that clip on an email - so I've gone into email and I've just seen a email from my accountant and I've just spent 20 minutes reading it and replying to it.

So I've been thrown off the nano chunking horse
What I should have done is to write down as a nano chunk: "Open the email" and do that afterwards - so I have the impulse, I do it.
So I've fallen off the horse.
It's okay, don't give yourself a hard time, but write down as soon as you can onto your list, and then cross it off.

So I'm now going to do what I'm supposed to do which is to look up a link from a video that I want to put into the script

I don't know why I write some things on the Nano chunk as capitals?
Works out some kind of anger or something!

Another good tip for the Nano chunking is to write down nano chunks that aren't very difficult, so instead of "write three pages of script" I put something a bit more easy which is to just "do writing for 25 minutes"
That's just - that's just "write" - so it doesn't matter what the outcome is.
It's just the process .

If you can make your nano chunks about the process rather than the outcome you'll find it even more easy to do
There I've done it!
I've actually written it's... 1 2 3 4 5 pages of scripts
I-- if my task had been "Write five pages of script" I just would not have done it.
Thanks to Nano chunking

Thanks to nano chunking - the task was - and I quote: "Open the t-shirts document in Google Docs"
That's all I had to do, just open the document, and then when you've done that... well you could just do the next nano chunk task... and when you break down the tasks down to the tiniest tiniest nano chunk, just do that chunk, and before you know it... a five page script.
So now I'll need to nano chunk the next... task... which is filming it

I even ended up shooting the video!
That's how powerful the Nano chunking is.

Respect the Nano chunking!

Not only did I end up making the video, two days later BBC News got in touch.
They wanted to use a clip for the six o'clock news bulletin that night

[NEWS REPORTER:] People can make them at home using anything from old t-shirts to bedding sheets.
Two of these guys are gonna get the chop, quite literally.
[NEWS REPORTER:] This dad from Hampshire tried making a t-shirt mask for himself on his YouTube channel.
My ears aren't coping very well with the elastic bands.

If I hadn't have made it, and made it right now, that would not have happened.

It's another reminder of "make your stuff now" because it turns out we need it!

I've put all of these videos into this playlist it's called "make your stuff now" at the moment.
There's a link up here, if you click on the "i" or or down in the description

If you've reached this point I hope this has helped

If it has, why not hit the thumbs up which will help other people to find this video. or hit the subscribe button which will help me get to 10,000 subscribers.

I'm on about one and a half at the moment so it feels like a really big mountain

Leave a comment below, be lovely to hear from you, just say hi - and I hope this video has helped you to make your own stuff
Can you please help my daddy get 10,000 subscribers. Just click in his face. Thanks bye! Alright, this is gonna be the proper one, right?

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