This is a special interview series with the alumni of the Anti-Procrastination Course, where I invite them to share the lessons they learned from the Anti-Procrastination Course and showcase their accomplishments since completing the program.
Have you tried to start a blog or web business before? If you have, you’ll know it’s not as easy as it looks.
Create content. Get traffic. Retain traffic. Reply to reader feedback. Deal with negative criticism. Add a newsletter list. Manage your newsletter. Develop your expertise. Create new content consistently. Build a great layout. Etc.
This is what PE reader Matt experienced a while after he started his blog. Overwhelmed by the list of things to be done, Matt found himself procrastinating on his blog. Even though he knew the steps to build a top blog (Matt took my Blogging Success Course back when I was still running it); even though he was passionate about his blog, Matt found it incredibly hard to take action.
After all, he had taken action before, only to procrastinate and give up after a while. This had happened so many times that he was demotivated. In his heart, he thought, What’s the point of [trying] if I’m just going to give up eventually?
So when I started Anti-Procrastination Course in 2013, Matt joined immediately. At that time, the course was only 4 sessions long. Matt learned important strategies to bust his procrastination and used them in working on his blog. Subsequently that year, his blog grew in traffic, in response to his efforts.
Last year, I conducted a new run and significantly upgraded the material — from 4 sessions to 8 sessions, with many more examples, strategies — which allowed me to do deeper dives with my participants. Matt joined again this time, refreshing on the principles and applying the new content.
Since the course, not only has he started a new blog, he has grown it from ZERO to 60,000 monthly pageviews in less than a year!!
Matt is now running 2 blogs with a total of 90,000 monthly pageviews, with traffic growing from month to month.
Oh, and that’s not all — he has been doing all these while holding a full-time job!!
Today, I have Matt here to share some of the lessons he learned in Anti-Procrastination Course and how it helped him in taking action. Even if you don’t blog or run a business, there are things to take away as his lessons are universally applicable to any goal. Take it away, Matt!
Q) Hey Matt! Please tell us more about yourself. 🙂
Hey Celes and everyone! I’m Matt, 30, and I live in Midwestern United States. I do technical support work for a computer manufacturer.
Q) You’ve been a LONG-time PE reader — I still remember you took my very first course, Live a Better Life in 30 Days! Can you share how you found PE, how long you’ve been reading, and what made you stick around all these years?
I first came across PE a little over 5 years ago. I actually didn’t even realize it has been that long until you asked!
It was during a period when I was feeling frustrated by the lack of progress in my life. I was searching online for help and reading a lot of self-development blogs. I stumbled across PE’s articles on perfectionism and I was struck by how much I could relate to your past perfectionist behaviors. I liked that the advice you gave was so practical and easy to implement.
Not only was the quality of your articles great, there was already a ton of content when I found PE. I quickly read your ESPER series, life purpose series, and many others. I still remember having a dozen browser tabs open because I wanted to read more of the great content.
All your articles showed a warmth and authenticity that isn’t always present in a lot of personal development writing. And the down-to-earth advice you shared was useful in many areas of my life. It’s safe to say that as soon as I found PE, I knew I would be a long time reader.
Q) Why did you sign up for Anti-Procrastination Course?
Procrastination had always been a huge problem in my life. I procrastinated back when I was a student which hurt my grades, and I continued to procrastinate as an adult which hurt my career prospects and health.
I have always had big dreams and I have ideas on how to reach my goals. But very often when it was time to act, I would find myself putting things off. I would think, I will get to it later. After repeating this behavior for so many years, it became extremely frustrating and demoralizing.
“I have always had big dreams, but often when it was time to act, I would think, I’ll get to it later.“
So when you launched the Anti-Procrastination Course, it caught my eye as I already knew for a fact that you are a high-achieving individual so you are exactly the right person to be teaching this course. Also, I’ve bought your other products and courses and I knew they are of extremely high quality. I knew that it would be the same with AP course too. You are always energetic and passionate during the courses and I could see how each of our (the participants’) success is extremely important to you.
Q) Any goal in particular you were procrastinating on before the course?
My main goal then was to create a popular blog on drawing. Ever since I was a little boy and picked up my first comic book, I have been in love with illustration. I’m fascinated by different art styles and I admire many illustrators.
I wanted to turn this hobby of mine into a career that would inspire me and excite me every day. I have been working in day jobs which aren’t my passion and I was tired of wasting my life in these jobs.
Despite knowing that achieving this goal would make a big difference in my life though, I would procrastinate on it regularly. Sometimes I would feel motivated, sometimes I would take action, but over time I would put off my tasks longer than I would act. Instead, I would do random things like watching Netflix or busy work with nothing to do with my goals.
It got to a point where I didn’t even want to start work on my blog at all because I felt that I would just procrastinate again later on. It was hard for me see the point of taking action if I was just going to give up eventually. This also affected my confidence in other Quadrant 2 goals and caused me to put them off too.
Q) So you went through the Anti-Procrastination Course in 2013 and then the overhauled version in 2014. How was the course for you?
I was surprised by how in-depth it is. The AP course isn’t just a few obvious tips to increase productivity like using a tickler file. It was designed to help us discover and overcome deep-rooted causes for self-sabotage and procrastination. It focused on helping us know our goals, develop a plan for reaching them, and then learn practical steps to take consistent action toward them.
The course was personally transformative for myself and the other participants involved. Through it, I learned the source of my procrastination problems and how to move forward with motivation I didn’t know I had.
Q) What were some lessons you learned that helped create this change?
- Early in the course, I realized that a big part of my procrastination was because my goals didn’t truly inspire me. Creating a popular blog seemed like a good idea but it was sometimes hard to get excited about it. You helped me get really honest with myself about what I want, which is to become a better illustrator.
Hence, I modified my goal to include improving my drawing ability and helping others do the same. Making this change has given me a huge surge in motivation. I’m more excited to create content for my blog readers now because now that I am putting more focus into building my skills, I can create better quality content for them.
- Module 2 helped me understand what was holding me back. I discovered limiting beliefs, which were very personal to me, that I didn’t even know were present. I was able to challenge these limiting ideas using the strategies in AP course. I realized most of my limiting beliefs were baseless and shouldn’t even be there.
- I have completely changed the way I look at my deadlines and to-dos. I learned my milestones and tasks are not there to make me feel overwhelmed. They are my pathway to create results. If the tasks or milestones aren’t finished by the scheduled deadline, that’s not a big deal. There’s no point in feeling demoralized or guilty like I might have before; this usually only makes things worse. Instead, now I just learn from this experience and make future plans.
- The lessons on strategy and planning were transformative. It made me drill into the top few actions that would give me the highest ROI (return on investment) for my effort. Just doing this has freed me from a lot of unnecessary tasks. Also it helps me quickly choose what to do each day instead of busy work.
“I learned my tasks are not there to make me overwhelmed. They are my pathway to results.”
- Before AP course, my path to reach my goals always seemed overwhelming. I was paralyzed by how intimidating building a successful blog seemed. I thought it was just too much work and even if I managed to finish everything, I would probably still fail anyway.
Your tips for creating successful action steps really helped me in this regard. I learned to dissect my goal and break it into simple tasks that I can easily do now. Tasks like writing posts, learning web design, or graphic design no longer seem like huge burdens and taking action has become immensely easier.
Q) How have you been doing in your blogging goal since then?
Since completing the AP course, I’ve been more productive than ever. For my drawing blog, YourDrawingLessons.com (YDL),
- I’ve been studying books and videos on drawing that I had previously meant to look at for months,
- I’m learning a lot of great information to improve my blog and share them with my readers,
- I’m practicing drawing daily, and
- I’ve begun working on a series of articles which I think will be some of my best material.
I’m enjoying the work more than before. It’s exciting and I feel proud of myself! YDL currently receives an average of 1,000 daily pageviews, about 30,000 monthly pageviews.
In addition, I’ve created a second website! I started it late last year after the AP course ended, after seeing an opportunity to start a site in this domain. I’ve been creating content for it and traffic has grown steadily. Right now it’s receiving an average of 2,000 daily pageviews, with a total of 60,000 monthly pageviews!
On top of that, its traffic has been increasing quite a lot lately. In fact it just hit an all-time high of 3,625 daily pageviews on Monday!
If this continues, my second site may hit 80,000 monthly pageviews, which will be a 33% increase in traffic! This is really exciting and I’m currently working to add more content to this site. I expect the traffic to increase further as I continue with my plan. At the moment, both my sites receive a total of 90,000 monthly pageviews.
Q) WOW, these are very impressive results, Matt!! Congratulations! Any AP strategies in particular that helped?
Thank you! I use the strategies from the AP course all the time. For example,
- If I find that I’m putting something off, I take time to find the root cause of the procrastination. By using the techniques taught, I usually find that the cause is a limiting belief that I can address and not have it hold me back.
- Breaking down action steps into simple milestones helps me know what I need to do next and quickly get to work.
- The time management techniques you taught in Module 7 have allowed me to have a day job, work on my personal goals, and still have time for friends and family. I really cannot say enough about how liberating it is to progress in my personal goals while still being able to enjoy leisure time.
- Right now I am in the process of reevaluating my goal strategy, something you taught in Modules 3 and 4. I’m carefully considering how I spend my time so I can focus on the things that get me the highest ROI. By putting my energy into my biggest opportunities and ruthlessly dropping low-value tasks, I am freeing up more time for myself and my goals.
Q) Prior to AP course, did you use other resources on increasing productivity, addressing procrastination etc.? How would you compare AP with them?
I have studied plenty of material on productivity. Probably too much. I was a bit of a self help junkie for a while so I have read many of the more famous self-help books out there. I have read a large amount of articles by the more famous personal development bloggers and watched god-knows-how-many YouTube videos on goal achievement and productivity. I had also listened to audio programs by Tony Robbins and a few others.
To say I have consumed a lot of self-help material would be an understatement.
Some of the material I saw was helpful while some of it was crap. A lot of it was obvious tips repeated over and over. Stuff like use a calendar, make a to-do list, prioritize tasks, etc. Much of it was half-baked ideas that would be helpful to only a few people and worse than useless to others. None of them really got me the kind of results I wanted.
Nothing I came across was as comprehensive and universally applicable as the Anti-Procrastination Course. The Anti-Procrastination Course is a different beast altogether because it encouraged all the members to take action right away. We didn’t just learn a bunch of techniques and then return to wasting time after the class ended. Everyone in the course saw a change in the way they approached their work and everyone moved closer to achieving their goals through the weeks.
Q) What are your next steps on your blogs?
My current goal is to increase my revenue from each website. At the moment, I’m earning a modest income from my sites. Even though my real passion is drawing, I think my second blog could possibly earn more ad revenue. A new passive income stream is a step forward to follow my passion full time.
Within the next couple of weeks, I will be adding Adsense and Amazon links to my second blog to increase monetization. Once that’s done, I will shift my focus back to YDL.
Even though I’m still in a day job, I can see myself soon transitioning out of my current job to focus on my websites. I’m excited about this.
Not only am I running 2 sites, I am so productive that I am considering creating a third site or even a YouTube channel on new topics! The AP course has helped me become more productive than I thought possible.
Q) Having taken the AP course yourself, who would you say the course is best for? Who can benefit from this course?
The course is great for anyone who might procrastinate. That sounds like a broad statement but really, nearly anyone can benefit from the AP course. Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to get more done, a student wanting to improve your study habits, or just someone who wants to achieve a personal goal in your spare time, the AP course gives you the tools to address your procrastination blocks and take action. The techniques taught are applicable and universal to anyone who wishes to take constant action on their goals.
Honestly, even non-procrastinators who are looking to be even more productive can benefit from the course.
Q) Any final words you’d like to share?
I want to express my gratitude to you, Celes, for creating this course and helping so many people achieve their goals. You’ve created by far the most powerful resource on beating procrastination that I have ever come across. This course is transformative and immensely helpful to anyone struggling with procrastination. I’m excited for the new participants who will be taking the AP course soon because I know they will have an amazing experience. I wish them all the best!
Celes’ Post-Interview Notes
As I mentioned above, Matt has been a long time reader of PE and has participated in many of my courses. I’ve seen him grown so much through the years, with every course we work together on.
5 years ago, he started off not having any websites or knowledge on web building. In these 5 years, I’ve seen him advance…
- from having no website to creating his drawing blog;
- from not knowing how to draw to studying drawing, building his skills in it, and becoming very proficient in it (honestly, his artwork and tutorials speak for themselves);
- from having no content on his blog to having a plethora of in-depth tutorials;
- from having no traffic to receiving steady streams of traffic;
- And now, using his skills to build a second blog which is generating more traffic than ever!
Matt is now running 2 sites with 90,000 pageviews a month and is generating modest income from them. He is currently still working in a day job. His goal is to ultimately transition to his websites full time, and I’m very sure this will happen in time to come.
Not because Matt doesn’t face any struggles in his goals (he does, as do all of us). Not because Matt doesn’t face any challenges in life (all of us do). But because Matt is constantly striving to better himself, to address his road blocks, and to take action on what he believes in, despite whatever obstacles he faced before. Here’s to Matt’s success, and I look forward to seeing him progress in his goals along with all of us! 🙂
Check out Matt’s blog: YourDrawingLessons.com
Anti-Procrastination Course, 2015 Run [Update: REGISTRATION CLOSED!]
As of this writing, there are less than 36 hours to register (as of this writing) for the upcoming Anti-Procrastination Course, starting Sep 12. If you truly want to bust procrastination and take massive action on goals you’ve been putting off, now is the chance to do so. We’ve over 20 participants now working on all kinds of goals from music, to pursuing a new career, to losing weight, to starting a business! Here’s what the new registrants have been sharing: “Cannot wait until this new course starts!!! The last one has changed my life. 🙂 Thank you Celes!” ~ Farah, 46 “Hi Celes, I want to commit with the course because I think that beating procrastination is something I have been trying to postpone all the time (as everything in my life)… always thinking I can do it by myself… but the reality is that this is not true. During some periods in my life I have been super productive; but only when my objective was clear. But all my life I have been a heavy procrastinator… doing everything in the very last moment, arriving late to all my appointments… And in the end living a crazy life, sometimes chaotic, always stressed and running, with no time to relax myself, and feeling I could do much more in my life… So I think I really need the course. And I’m motivated. I’m looking forward to start the course!” ~ Alice, 35 “I have been postponing a lot of important things in my life. I want to take control of my life priorities and achieve my life’s purpose. Unfortunately, my procrastination habit has held me back from discovering my passion and working toward it. I’m always thinking that I can start it next week or next month and that goes on forever — and this has so far been 10 years. Through this course, I want to take immediate action on my priorities like discovering my passion.” ~ Sai, 34 “I want to find a new, more fulfilling job. [For years,] I have been taking the same type of jobs but end up feeling unfulfilled. At the moment, I feel stuck and have been procrastinating on my career for 6 months. Through this course, I hope to work on my career and work toward my dream job.” ~ Ann, 52 If you want to register, I only run this course once a year, so don’t miss your chance. Unlike other online courses that take in hundreds to thousands of students, I only take in a couple of dozen students to maintain a small group size and ensure quality attention for everyone. Registration will be closed once the seats are full. I look forward to working with you guys soon! 😀 All AP Details, course schedule, FAQs, details: Anti-Procrastination Course Announcement Page Direct registration link: Register for Anti-Procrastination Course Any question on the course? Post them at the course announcement page. I reply within hours.
Update, Sep 10, 23:59pm: Thank you to everyone who registered – registration is now closed and we have a full class for the upcoming course! To those of you who’ve registered, look forward to working with you in the months ahead! 😀 Thank you!
Images: Matt’s picture and all his artwork © Matt Leyva / YourDrawingLessons.com