3 tricks to start working despite not feeling like it
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Ever wish you felt like creating that presentation? Felt like doing that research? Felt like doing the dishes?
Most of us do.
It's easy to start when we feel like it.
Unfortunately, we often don't.
We don't feel ready. We don't feel like the work is going to be good enough. We don't feel like we have the motivation.
The list goes on.
But here's the thing: we don't have to feel like it to start.
We can start writing, even if we think the words are rubbish.
We can start creating, sketching, planning,... even though we're uncertain of the results of our efforts.
This may sound like BS, but it's not. It's a simple fact. Everyone of us has started despite not feeling like it at some point in our lives because we promised something to a friend, or because it really mattered to us, or because we were tired off putting something off.
And we can all train this ability every day, to work effectively and without stress.
Every time we consciously go "Okay, let's do this" instead of checking Twitter for the tenth time this hour, we're training this ability.
Tricks on how to start
"Screw it, let's do it"
Billionaire Richard Branson has a catchphrase: "Screw it, let's do it"
He even wrote a book by that title. The lesson of it is simple: despite all the doubt, all the fear, all the negativity, let's take the leap.
Publish that post. Message that person. Start that company.
It's a simple mantra that can inspire you to approach, instead of avoiding.
When you catch yourself ruminating on why something could fail or doubting whether you can take a bold step, go "screw it, let's do it!"
Reject the negative self-talk and take a step forward.
Another trick to start sloppy. Why start sloppy?
You might have high expectations of your finished work.
You want to write a great book, not just a good one. Or create a stellar artwork, or start a great business.
All those expectations can put more pressure on you than you can bear. More pressure often equals more procrastination.
Instead, you can escape those expectations by starting deliberately badly.
Write a chapter of a book by hand, without editing anything - you know that's not going to get published.
Start designing a poster with a sharpie, instead of the latest high-tech illustrating program.
Create a bad first prototype for a product that you'd never ship to anyone else.
When you know that you don't have to make the greatest thing ever right from the start, it's much easier to start. And then it's easier to continue.
You probably don't feel like creating a 20 slide presentation right now from scratch and presenting it in 2 hours.
You don't feel like writing a whole final thesis on a topic you barely know.
You don't feel like running a marathon.
But you might feel like looking up a couple pictures or articles for the presentation.
Or feel like writing a paragraph or two before lunch break.
Or feel like taking a 5km walk.
Those are the small steps along the longer journey.
We often underestimate the power of small steps, but they are essential because they help us get into the right routine.
If you start running a couple miles every other day, you'll get familiar with the routine and then you'll naturally want to start increasing the distance. And eventually, you might get to running a full marathon.
The small steps, while they may seem tiny at the moment, are what will gradually lead to completing the longer journey.
Don't underestimate small steps. If you're at the start of something, look for small steps (not giant goals) and get them done. And if you stumble, re-focus on the next small step you can take.
So there you have it.
Is it time to go "screw it, let's do it"?
Could a deliberately sloppy start help you move forward?
Or what's the smallest step you can take right now?