“Just do it.”


The Hardest Part Is Starting

When you’re running a race, everyone lines up at the starting line, poised and ready. The signal is given – a starter’s pistol – adrenaline pumping, the runners take off. This isn’t quite the same way we start off our personal projects, unless we’re becoming world-class athletes. Even world class athletes do a lot more work on their own the other 364 days of the year, compared to those few seconds spent on the track trying to win gold.

So where do you start? Well, just as you listed your gifts, start with a list of what you need to do – from the smallest detail to the largest thing you can think of that needs to happen to get your plan off the ground. Don’t worry about any particular order at first, just write it down or type it out as it comes to you, for as long as it takes. When you’re done the list, congratulate yourself – the hardest part of anything is getting started, and you just got started, one item at a time.

But, making a list isn’t the same as actually accomplishing the things on your list, so don’t get too self-congratulatory – you still have some work ahead of you. It can be overwhelming looking at a seemingly never-ending to-do list. The only way to deal with that sense of feeling defeated before you even get going, is to start with the first task that looks the most fun or the easiest for you to accomplish – what an orchard worker would call “low hanging fruit.” Go for the easy mark first, and get that rewarding sense of accomplishment that comes with checking something off the list, because that sense of accomplishment will get you into the zone of building on your success and you’ll gain momentum towards completing more and more of the tasks you have before you.

By the time you get to the end of the list, you’ll have accomplished so much, and you’ll be feeling so good about yourself that those things that looked so hard will be easy to check off. Use this trick every time you feel overwhelmed: it’s a tool to help you succeed.

When I get overwhelmed with a long to-do list and I feel like procrastinating, I trick myself into only doing one task and one task only. As soon as I know it, I’m “in the zone”, that procrastination bug is squashed and I’m getting things done.