Over-Preparation Is Procrastination

If you've been getting ready for a long time but haven't started, you're procrastinating.

Do you spend more time preparing to do things than actually getting things done?

You may have to think about that. If you’re a master procrastinator, you’re going to think, Well isn’t preparation a part of getting things done?

Yes, it is. But only to a certain degree.

Preparation can become excessive. And when it does, it’s no longer part of the process. It’s an impediment to the process.

At one point, I was spending days that turned into weeks preparing to be a professional writer.

What that meant was shopping trips to buy fancy notebooks. And to buy different sized notebooks that would work for all settings.

I needed pens with fine enough points and pencils that were hard enough and dark enough. I had to get portable this and a back-up that.

Not to mention the books for advice. Oh, and the magazines I had to read to get associated with the markets I wanted to write for.

It was all BS.

That was me putting a lot of hurdles between myself and the starting point. It was me doing everything except what I needed to do, which was sit down and write.

I’m not the only one who has used preparation to procrastinate. A lot of people find ways to appear busy with their business when they’re really just stalling and wasting time.

I know someone who wanted to launch a website and decided that meant he must learn to code because he was going to build the site from the ground up.

Fully coding a website is extremely complex and time-consuming for a person with no experience. It’s the equivalent of someone wanting to open a store and deciding to get a background in architectural design first.

With all the tools out there that make web design simpler for the do-it-yourselfer, this was a totally unnecessary task. But, it was a great way to avoid getting started.

Meanwhile what about the business? What about actually creating the music, marketing the music, finding gigs. Wouldn’t that have been a better use of that extra time?

You know the answer. I know the answer. He knows the answer.

Over-complicating the process and wearing yourself out doing things that don’t need to be done is another form of procrastination.

Why This Type of Procrastination

Getting started is where the real work lies. After you cross that starting line, the real test of your commitment, confidence, strategy, and talent begins.

You can’t talk about it, you have to be about it.

There are a lot of tools, services, and products to choose from.  When people aren’t really ready to get in the game,  they spend excessive amounts of time selecting between them.

When people still want to talk about what they’re about to do but aren’t ready to do it, they find reasons that the existing tools and services won’t work for them. That means they have to delay the start to develop the skills or systems to do things the hard way.

That’s more BS.

Related: Ideas Without Action Are Useless

Cut it Out

If a product or service, such as an app or software, is inexpensive or free, you shouldn’t devote too much time to choosing it. Your decision isn’t engraved in stone. If the first choice doesn’t work, you’ll know that from experience and you can choose something else.

If you’re making a significant investment, like buying a laptop, a camera, or sound gear, yes, it’s a good idea to do some research. Take some time at a store testing out the equipment. to help ensure you’re making a good choice.

But even then, you should make a decision in a reasonable amount of time. And, you shouldn’t pull the brake on all other aspects of your business.

Use your old equipment. Write your story on paper. Take pictures with your phone. Make progress.

Any time you find yourself devoting all or most of your effort to preparation or decision-making, scrutinize your behavior and your motives.

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll likely realize it’s not about the tools, services, or the terms of use… it’s about your resolve to get shit done. You’re procrastinating.

By the way…if you have problems with procrastination, or even if you don’t, follow me on Instagram @knowgoodwriter. I’ll help keep you motivated.

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