There are many ways to get shit done and most of the time I have no problems doing it. However, when I have a block, I recognise it to be a handful of blueprinted behaviour that rises, no matter how big or small the task.
These are the:
1. Procrastination loop – hate this feeling
2. Debbie downer - the Doubter
3. Perfectionist, obsessive – the staller
When getting shit done, you need to talk less on the subject and spend more time doing!
Too much chatter focused on what you’re attempting to do can be the start of the Procrastination loop. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to talk yourself into an idea, as it can create the momentum and energy to get started. But at a point it must turn into an action, otherwise you can count yourself as being at risk of being one of those people… Yes, the ones that just talk and a couple of years later are still talking.
If you get caught in this cycle often, you need to practice being aware of the words you say out loud and the action you follow behind it. I make it a practice to allow the words that come out of my mouth to be the plan I intend on executing. Once I say it out loud to someone, starting with I’m going to, that is my commitment and promise and I am compelled to do it. So, I only ever just start with Step one. I don’t rush all the steps or overthink it. The rest of the steps come, as you create action – practice this, it helps you step out of the procrastination loop.
If I have an idea still incubating in my mind and I need help in pushing it along, I select one, maximum two people I trust whole heartedly to provide me an environment where my thoughts can be ratified safely. I tend to do this for the more serious ideas where I feel vulnerable or like I’m over-reaching my abilities, but I am compelled to pursue. Like doing a start up!
But, if you tend to do this often with the smaller decisions, you may need to work on reflecting on why you are not trusting yourself before you take the leap. Do you have your facts, do you know step 1 because that’s all you need to start? If you have all of this and still haven’t decided, maybe measure the consequence of failing. If it’s small and you wouldn’t even remember it in 1 years’ time, then just do it. This is called measuring risk, just don’t live there!
Now you have started, but then you become stuck again, especially when you are executing something personal, complex or new to you, either can be equally challenging.
Welcome Debbie downer. Right now, my plan is to launch CheeHoo in a couple of weeks, there has been a few delays and at times I have this overcrowded sensation which looks like fear that I am not ready! So here are the steps in front of me at a high level; get the mountain of development done, testing continuously, then pull the trigger and get it into Beta Testing (Testing with more people than me and my team), then launch. It feels like forever and a lot, so doubt creeps in and dances around me.
If you ask me to do this in my day job, I can do it blind folded with no hesitation or fear but doing it for myself... that’s a whole other psychological mind trip. I’m new to the start-up world (my excuse). I am very familiar with delivering technology in the corporate world. Where you have a team, everyone has a role and knows deadlines, we get shit done. The cost of slippage is shared, and consequence of failing is bigger than me, so a totally different feeling to what it is like, when it’s your own start up, and you are accountable for everything!
To overcome these anxieties, I have to play mind tricks on myself. I pretend I’m doing it for another company, not my own, just to take some of the edge off. When that’s not working, I then go to that trusted person to fill my boots with sometimes biased confidence then turn around and keep going. When I’m doing this, I know it’s biased, but unfortunately my brain and its associated feelings are bigger than me, so I have to trick it out of the vicious Debbie downer cycle and remove the doubt with a sense of validation and certainty, to help me carry on – this works, trust me!
Perfectionist, obsessive. So, what about when you pass a deadline and your still not done and its out of your control? I have this feeling right now. It does not feel cool! When you’re so keen to get things done and you can see a completed puzzle but some of the pieces are missing. This is frustrating as hell. You cannot rush product quality, nor can you perfect and over engineer… Aggghh, what kind of contradiction is this? Then you should check you’re not over perfecting and you’re not stalling for the wrong reasons, but the right ones.
At this point I must decision based on gut feel, to balance the anxious rush with a calmed patience for what must be done right, to know when I’m selecting the right thing is impossible, so gut intuition must kick in. Doing this is not easy, but I’m now very practiced, I trust my gut a lot more than I use too. It is especially challenging to do this, when you have publicly made a commitment to do this by a certain time, but you also committed yourself to delivering what is in your vision, which needs a little more time. (note to self: don’t even communicate public timelines).
I have people asking me how it is going? are you done yet? At times my initial reaction is Get of my Jock, purely because of my own internal dialogue and expectation, which is now heightened because I am running over time, but then I wake up and realise they are as excited as me to see it done. So, I choose to leverage that pressure for more momentum to carry on, oh that’s after I have muttered curse words under my breath – yes, I am human.
Overall there is no secret serum to getting things done. Just a level of awareness of your patterns when you’re stuck and a forgiveness to allow yourself to restart. I find myself so practiced in my reflection that I now have created habits to just keep going, these are my default habits when I get stuck. Shake it off, start again and when in doubt, tell your fear to shut the Fruck up! You have not got time on this earth to sit in a Procrastination loop, be a Debbie downer, or become Perfectionist obsessive if it doesn’t impact your overall vision.
This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
Spend less time caught up in the clutter and more focusing on what is truly important.