How The Process Blocks Your Progress

To get things done, you must decide what you need to do, then you must do those things. That sounds simple, and it is simple. But a lot of times it doesn’t happen that way.

Instead, you’ll find people investing the bulk of their time and energy focusing on part A—deciding what they need to do.

They talk about what they need to do.

They buy journals and planners and download apps to make sure they keep track of what they need to do.

They read all types of blog posts and books about how to do what they need to do.

But there is very little, if any, effort put into actually getting things done.

Thinking about what you want to do and need to do is really only a small part of the actual process.

You can sit and stare at your to-do list all day. You can add to it, reorganize it, alphabetize it and translate it into another language. But you won’t see any meaningful progress until you get to work.

You can develop a plan, review the strategy, recite the plan aloud and compare it to advice from dozens of success gurus. But you won’t see any meaningful progress until you get to work.

One of the traits of highly productive people is that they plan. They also create lists and schedule their time. All of these are wise things to do.

But highly productive people don’t allow planning and organizing to become a never-ending process. They do these things in a timely manner. Then, they get to work.

They pick a task, start it, and finish. Afterward, they do the same with another task then another.

That’s how you they shit done and you can too.

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The Starting Point

But what if you don’t know where to begin? Sometimes when there are dozens of things on your to-do list, it’s hard to find the best starting point.

True, it is.

One suggestion I’ve read over and over again for handling this problem is to prioritize your tasks. In some instances, that’s great advice. If it works, and it gets the wagon moving, by all means go with that.

Just know that in some cases, it won’t work because there won’t be any tasks that are clearly more essential or pressing than others. Trying to prioritize will mean, you’ll just waste a lot of time analyzing all your tasks trying to decide how important they are and then you’ll probably waste more time second-guessing how you ranked them.

That’s busy-work and another poor use of time. Once again, it’s a case of over-thinking and under-working.

Stop trying to figure out the best starting point. If it’s not obvious, it’s probably not important. Pick a place, any place. Begin there.

Getting something done is better than not doing anything at all.

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