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Not sure where to start, then just get started! Endlessly weighing pros and cons of various approaches isn’t going to help. The trick is productivity. Stop thinking and simply start doing.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Winston Churchill

Stop thinking and get started! The brain is a nice thing but when overthinking things keeps you from getting something done, it’s about time to stop the endless thoughts.

So how do we get out of the head and into action mode? By simply doing. Just get started, do something, start small but get productive.

Declare Wednesday to be Workout day for example, tell as many people you reserved Wednesday to hit the gym, and stick to it.

Here are just a few methods that work for me in moments that I feel stuck.

Start small

Have you ever heard of ‘kaizen’? Kaizen (改善) is the Japanese art of getting yourself in motion again. Or rather a way to increase productivity.

I’m not sure of I understand it correctly but for me kaizen means to focus on the essential part of a task. Identifying the crucial atom and then go from there.

More practically this could mean that instead of freaking out over all the articles I still want to write, I sit down behind my computer and start working on the shortest article.

It could also mean starting with one day without alcohol when what you actually want is to go alcohol-free completely. Befor you know it, one day turns into 28 days without alcohol which means you’re well on your way.

Create momentum

By working with focus on just one small part of the vast amount of work that still needs to be done, you’ve set yourself in motion and before you know it you’ll be done with one project already.

This provides you with a good feeling, you can be proud of yourself. You’ve been productive and you know what? You’re going to tackle one more project today, just a tad bigger.

Two tasks off your list and to round off the day you can now create an effective plan of attack for the rest of your to do list as well.

When nothing goes right, go the other way

Sometimes you just need to get away. For me, getting away means going outside. I force myself to go for a walk or do grocery shopping in the middle of the day instead of around supermarket closing time.

Breaking up routines can work wonders for your creativity and when you’re stuck in circular thinking, creativity is what you need.

Talk to a stranger on your break, enter a shop or gallery you’ve never frequented before, listen to music whilst walking through the park … the possibilities are endless.

Compose a list of things you can do

This may sound counterproductive, but composing a list of things that you could do actually takes your mind off the grand project that you just can’t seem to get started with.

Here’s what your list could look like:

  • Take care of the plants
  • Clean the cat’s litter box
  • Go through your inbox and remove email that you have replied to
  • Go through you playlist(s) on Spotify and remove songs you no longer like
  • Clean your desk
  • Mark dates and times in your agenda for your workouts
  • Come up with a meal plan for a week (or even a month)
  • Clean out your closet so your clothes will actually fit the space
  • Give the bathroom a good cleaning

The list is endless but as you have probably noticed, the key is to come up with activities that are organizational or caring.

After composing the list you may find you can’t wait to get started with your project. If not, just get productive by trying something on that list 😉

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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