Just Start Already (this is your conscience speaking)

It’s on the bottom of your to do list. You’ve been thinking about starting your bedroom renovation, creating that website, or buying into the latest craze and juicing celery every morning. Or, maybe it’s on the top of your to do list, but for whatever reason you haven’t gotten to it. You’ve been too busy. You’ve been working late recently. You couldn’t make time for it this week, or the last 6 months.

We all have our lists and we all have our reasons for doing or not doing. However, one thing is the same for all of us: the less we do, the more we need to get done. Here are three radical things to stop doing so you can start doing more:

Ignore Your Feelings

You know that gut feeling you get when you think something bad is going to happen? Helpful for bear encounters in the wilderness, but not so helpful when it comes to every day tasks. It’s a fact that we stress out more worrying about doing something than we do actually doing it. Read that again. Don’t believe me? Consider the dentist.

How often do you spend worrying about that upcoming dentist appointment? You might even put off making the appointment because you are stressed about going. You think: ugh, I don’t want them to poke and prod me for hours again. Or, man, I hope I don’t have a cavity. So you push it off; you don’t make the appointment or you move it just so you can…spend more time stressing about it? You know what’s less stressful? Just going to the dentist!

Similarly, it was hard for me to hit submit on my first blog post. Not exactly a “bear in the woods” scenario, but my gut instinct had me stopped in my proverbial tracks. What if my article wasn’t good? What if people didn’t understand my style of humor? What if no one liked what I had to say? These were real thoughts I was having that felt totally legitimate. Eventually, I had to put them to the side knowing that I’d never have a blog if I felt this way before every post. The end result? I crossed “start blog” off my list.

Stop wasting time worrying, stressing, or thinking about whatever it is you have to do and just do it. Forget your feelings and tackle whatever is coming your way; chances are it won’t even be that bad, or if it is, then at least you’ll get it over with!

(PS: advice not applicable to wilderness situations with bears. Feelings are super important when bears are involved).

Stop Making To-Do Lists

I know, this one hurts my soul. But if you find that your to-do list keeps getting longer instead of shorter, you need to re-evaluate your strategy. As much as I love to-do lists, nothing about writing your goals down on a piece of paper makes you do them any quicker. I’ll be the first to admit that to-do lists often help me, but they are also a form of procrastination. I could spend hours writing in my lovely planner… planning out my week… not actually doing any of the things that I planned for.

Ditch the to-do lists and get to doing. (Isn’t that a fun motto?!)

Leave Motivation Behind

We can’t be motivated all the time; there are two critical truths in this we need to accept:

  1. We all have our bouts of motivation that we need to take advantage of when we have them, but we also need to push through when we aren’t feeling motivated.

  2. You will feel 90% more motivated to do something after you start doing it, 90% of the time

I put off painting our bedroom furniture for literal months waiting for a long weekend, a nice day, you name it. One day I just decided to jump in. My husband and I got about half way done and realized there was no way we were finishing it in one day; and in fact, we spent a majority of that week painting. It wasn’t how we thought we were going to spend that week, and I probably wouldn’t have started if I knew it would take so long. But once we were in it, we didn’t even mind because we were having so much fun. We were so motivated to keep going because of how everything was coming together and honestly, we were a little sad when we had nothing left to paint. Not to mention, there’s no motivation to finish like having to walk around your wet dresser in the middle of your living room!

I mean haven’t you ever dreaded going to the gym but halfway through your workout you’re super happy you went? That’s what I mean. That’s your wet dresser. And there’s no need for extra motivation when you have a wet dresser.

Take a good look at your to-do list and mentally assess what you’ve been putting off. What can you start today? What can you stop stressing about, stop procrastinating, and just start doing today? Whether it’s fitness, minimalism, or writing that first blog post: everything is better when you just jump in and start! Even the most intimidating of tasks are broken down once you really get into it. And at the end of the day only one thing always holds true: the easiest and most direct way to get more things done is to start doing more things.

Have a great week & do something new!

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