Because I’m a recovering perfectionist, I have this big problem with getting started. Whether it’s starting to write my articles or starting a project. According to studies cited in How to get more done—and in less time, “our brain fears big projects” and “the biggest ‘wall’ to success” is “just getting started”.
Basically, this means that because we have such high standards on how our output or plan should look like, we get scared, and so we don’t even attempt to take the first step. For writers, this is experienced as writer’s block. For others, this manifests as procrastination.
To solve this problem, I just lower my standards. For my blog, I say, I’m just going to write one paragraph. For my articles for work, I tell myself, I’m just going to type random sentences or ugly sentences. For my projects, I set a really small goal like just take photos for that new blog you want to start.
The magical thing about these small goals is that it gets you addicted. Suddenly, I’m writing more than one paragraph. Suddenly, I’m writing nicer sentences for my article. Suddenly, I am brimming with ideas for that new blog.
The explanation for this is the The Zeigarnik Effect, which is the natural human need to finish something that one started. As they say, done is better than perfect. But more than that, if you get things done, it snowballs into wanting to get more things done. When you get more things done, you gain experience, and lessons, and you begin to get better at what you are doing.
So just do it.
- Mid-Year Report: Spend More Time With People
- Make Lists of Things That Bring You Joy and Sadness–From The Happiness Project
- For Two Hours a Day, I Think about the Future
- It’s Not Genius, It’s Cumulative Advantage
- Ma’s Rebuttal to “Sana Masaya”
- Click here for more Happiness and Inspiration
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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.
All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I am a person. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations.