When someone comes to me with a problem, one of my favorite things is to listen to what they have to say and then ask six of the best words in the English language:
What are you going to do?
And oftentimes, they’ll start talking about planning or ideas, and I’ll just cut them off and rephrase the question:
No no, I asked: What are you going to DO?
Do — as in, you have to do something!
Action is good. Setting up new routines is good. Work is good.
Planning is definitely not work. Just about everyone has a secret idea for a project they think could be huge. Huge! If only they had the time, resources, connections — oh, and actually wanted to put in the work to make it happen.
Planning is not work. It’s an important step — but the only thing that counts is when you turn ideas into work.
So do this: The next time you’re stuck, ask yourself: What am I going to do? Take 10 minutes, and write down the first 10 things you can to do take a step forward today.
Then go ahead and start accomplishing those things. Every time you do one, cross it off the list.
When that list is all finished: Take 10 minutes to write the next 10 things. And then start crossing those things off.
Sound easy? Good. Now do it every day. (That’s not quite as easy, you’ll find!)
These don’t have to be big steps. Sometimes, they’re just little things that get you moving. And sometimes, even those little steps will feel like missteps. That’s OK!
The important thing is this: Moving forward is so much better than sitting there and wondering away the days, losing valuable time when you could actually be doing the work.
That amazing photo of a man looking over a cloudy horizon comes via Unsplash and photographer Joshua Earle.