Skip to main content

How to Write a Book Using the 100 Words a Day Challenge(!)

For those of you that are regulars to this website, you will know that I have recently published my next book - What Does Good Look Like?

The purpose of this post is to explain how I wrote the book when I was already up to my eyeballs with consulting projects, a busy home life and some voluntary work thrown into the mix. Clients and friends have asked me in the last few weeks "How do you have time to write another book?"

The short answer is that I am the same as pretty much everyone - I don't have time to write a book!
Kaizen improvement strategies
Available for Kindle and in paperback

That's where our good old friend Kaizen comes in. I didn't write a book; I created my own 100 words a day challenge.

Writing a book - I don't have time for that!

Writing 100 words a day - how could I fail?

If you haven't come across the Kaizen method before it is a brilliant approach to break big challenges down into tiny bite size chunks. The real power of Kaizen is to avoid triggering the 'fight or flight' response and particularly the 'flight' element (as this normally translates into procrastination, in my experience).

Writing 100 words, for me, is a little challenge and one that I could squeeze in between meetings, parenting and chores(!).

If you are thinking that writing a book in 100 word intervals would take an incredibly long time then you may be right. You could argue that you would be making some progress rather than no progress, but that isn't the power behind the Kaizen approach. Approaching a task in small steps can help you to build confidence, motivation and momentum. It is a powerful strategy for undertaking change in an organisation and it helped me to write my book.

I would rarely write just the 100 words; once I got started I would get into a flow and end up writing anywhere between 250 and 1000 words. It wasn't the time that was the issue it was the perception of time and the realisation of the rest of the workloads I have that would cause the inertia. Before I knew it I had written a 26000 word book!

Anything that you are looking at, that you are procrastinating with, can be broken down and the Kaizen method applied. Appraisals, continuous improvement projects, report writing, the ironing(!)... Small steps can get your projects off the ground and then accelerate progress until the activity is completed.

I write about applying the Kaizen approach in the book What Does Good Look Like? and show how it can help to implement change and form the new habits that you need in your organisation. I didn't intend to practice what I preach in order to write the book, but after all it is the results that count and I needed a strategy that works!

If you are looking to write your own book, or want to get your continuous improvement projects moving, trying out the Kaizen approach (of tiny steps) would be a great place to start.


All the best,

Giles



About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.


Subscribe to my email updates and receive my on time delivery and productivity improvement guide:



Popular posts from this blog

Stop firefighting, start performing!

Another weeks passes and another example of unnecessary fire fighting demonstrated by a business I have been to help. If you have this taking place in your business, let me ask you a few questions: 1. What keeps on happening? Regain control with this practical book Can you pin down what it is that you keep having to do, to get out of trouble? If you can't, is there a pattern you can observe? 2. Do you want it to stop? Is it causing you enough of a problem that you want it to stop? If the answer is yes, keep reading, if not park it for another day. 3. Find out what is going on Do you know why you are having this issue? If you aren't sure where the issue is arising from, then take a few minutes to have a look around. When you have some idea, go to the next step. 4. Cause and effect Do you know what is truly causing the fire fighting situation? If you spend the time to get to the root cause of the situation , you have a good chance of permanently eliminating this situation. Most p

Kaizen improvements need to be specific

Do you find that your Kaizen improvements don't always go to plan? If you do, then you're with the majority! Whilst there is great deal of 'trial and error' there is a simple approach that can help. Available from Amazon Being specific about critical parts of your improvement can uplift your results. So, how do you go about doing this? The most direct route is to be clear about which parts of your improvement are critical. From here you can explain, in detail, what you want for those items. This might take some practice as many of us have become lazy in this regard. We take it for granted that our team 'get us' and will know what they need to do. If you ever feel that something basic is missing from an improvement ask this question: "What does good look like?" The answer should put you back on track. About the author: Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and

Are your teams clear?

I have recently finished working with a team that were struggling. They were struggling to meet their production schedules. They were struggling to respond to customer enquiries on time. They were burnt out and frazzled. After some prodding and poking it became clear what their issues were. In particular, it became obvious that expectations of the team weren't clear or defined. Defining what you expect from teams is a standard management approach. The problem with most teams is that leadership describe the standards in vague terms . So, what happens if you get the standards crystal clear? You should expect to see the team produce the right outputs. They should produce the outputs at the right time. And, they should produce them in an agreed way. Be clear with your teams. Ask the question: What does good look like? If you want to get some more ideas on how to define effective standards and visions, get your copy of my book today . What does good look like? is a practical guide to h