Avoid Procrastination and Overthinking By Doing This
by Robin Sacks
No matter how motivated, excited, or ready you are to do something, the same one question often is the culprit that gets in your way and causes you to either procrastinate, spin your wheels, or over-think it.
That question is, “Where do I start?!?”
Anytime this question is stopping you in your tracks, you can get past it by doing one of these things. Here are three ways to start anything right now:
1 — Start with the cause, not the symptoms.
Stop trying to “fix” something until you understand what’s causing it. If you find the cause, you have often found the “fix.”
Years ago, I had a client who always filled me with stress. I am a relatively calm person who can handle most situations, but I began to realize that every single time I had an interaction with this particular person, my stress level was through the roof, and it took me several hours to come down from it. For a long time, I tried different tactics to make the interactions less stressful to no avail. Eventually, I realized I was trying to “fix” something that was a major personality difference and wasn’t going to change; she was who she was and I was who I was.
No amount of ‘fixing’ was going to change the cause of my stress.
Even though it was difficult from a revenue standpoint, I made the decision to part ways with that client. Guess what? When I took care of the cause, the problem went completely away.
You can START there!
2 — Start with the human element.
No matter what your title, where you come from, where you now live, what hobbies you enjoy or who you are in any other aspect of life, the one thing we all have in common is we are human beings.
Want to communicate better? Learn how to talk to humans by being direct, being honest, and being compassionate at all times.
A good example of this is when someone is doing a presentation for work. They often struggle with their “script” because they want to make sure they sound professional, knowledgeable, and credible. However, the way to actually do that is to talk to people like you would talk to a friend. Stop presenting to them and have a conversation. Make things real to them.
Nobody really cares what the number on the spreadsheet means; what they actually want to know is how does that number affect them. Tell them! Drop the corporate lingo and you will get more engagement and buy-in.
Remember, no matter who you are talking to or what their title is, you are always just one human being talking to another human being. What do they need from you? Get that to them concisely and in simple language. (That’s what people who really know their stuff do!)
3 — Start wherever you are.
Way too often, people want to “wait.” They wait until they feel more ‘ready’ or more ‘motivated,’ or they wait until they take ‘one more class’ or read ‘one more book.’
OMG! Stop doing that! Just…begin…today.
Every day you “wait” is a day lost. It is a day that is getting you farther away from your goal instead of closer to it. Why? Because the only way you will be able to actually learn is by doing. You cannot think your way to a goal, nor can you talk your way to a goal. You have to take action and DO. If you are not doing, you are wasting your time and energy.
As you DO, you will learn so much faster. You will also know what you still NEED to learn and what you don’t. That is really important because a lot of time, money, and energy gets wasted on things you never needed to know in the first place to do what you want to do.
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, spinning your wheels, or over-thinking something, remind yourself exactly what you can do to stop it quickly…just begin.