Over-Preparation Is Procrastination

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 more trips to buy different- sized notebooks that would work for all the different settings. Every possible setting.

I needed pens with fine-enough points.

I needed pencils that were hard enough. And dark enough.

I had to get a portable this and a back-up that.

Not to mention the books for advice. If I was going to do it, I was going to do it right. So I had to info-gather first.

Oh, and the magazines. Yeah, I had to get those to read so I could get acquainted with the markets I wanted to write for.

It was all BS.

I wasn’t preparing. I was putting  hurdles between me and the starting point.

That fabricated to-do list was me doing everything except what I needed to do, which was sit down and write– you know, the real work.

I’m not the only one who has used preparation to procrastinate.  A lot of you find ways to appear busy with your business when you’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 simple 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 some gigs.

Wouldn’t that have been a better use of time for a person who wanted to be a musician?

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 a form of procrastination.

Why This Type of Procrastination

Getting started is where the real work lies.

And 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. Or else it’ll be clear that you aren’t 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 want to talk about what they’re going to do but aren’t ready to do it, they find reasons that their existing tools and services aren’t good enough.

And that means they have to delay the start of work.

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 the equipment. But make a decision in a reasonable amount of time.

And, don’t pull the brake on all other aspects of your business in the meantime.

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

Whatever you have to do–make real progress. Get shit done.

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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