How to begin?
When to begin?
Sometimes it’s just plain hard to get started.
Procrastination can stop us in our tracks and bog us down with distractions. At least, getting started can be an issue for me.
In reality, I am a gifted procrastinator. I practice nearly every day. I have developed a tendency to a well-honed skill.
I have projects.
I have piles and lists, filled with many projects–things that need to be done, should be done, want to be done… Projects, ready and waiting to be done all for the want of a good beginning.
Shoot, it doesn’t even have to be a good beginning. Sometimes it’s kind of like jumping into cold water–just get in there any way you can.
Here’s a couple of things I meant to do this summer.
1. A whole house clean out. I had planned to go through one room a week. Instead, once a week I open a closet door and take a look. Quickly I shut the door with a not-today shrug. I don’t like to clean out and organize, so it’s easy to put it off.
2. A new book idea to develop. In May I got some great response from agents and publishers on a book idea I pitched at a conference. This was an idea that I came up with two days before conference. All I had was a graphic, a lead paragraph, and a list of topics. Usually I pitch more developed ideas, things that are well underway. It’s time to begin brainstorming and writing an initial chapter. I’m stuck… so I procrastinate.
3. Start a high school scrapbook for my daughter.
4. Paint my office.
Fortunately, the summer’s not over. Not quite. And there are things that aren’t on this list because–you got it–they’re done!
Better than Real
Begin is a word that only becomes real in the present. Today is the only day that you can truly begin. Beginnings that happen next week aren’t real–only a fragile things of intention, floating around our heads like shimmering bubbles.
Whether it’s tasks we don’t like or opportunities that intimidate, beginning is sometimes the hardest part. Without taking the initiative to step out of intention and into action, begin is only a word. A wish of a useless word without heart and void of power.
One thing is for sure, success never arrives without a beginning. Alton Gansky, says “There is no shame in trying and failing, but there is great shame in failing to try” (Keynote, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, May 2014).
How well I know this: the gap between procrastination and accomplishment is spelled B-e-g-i-n.
Best Tips of Top Procrastinators
1. Talk about it so much that you don’t have time to do it.
2. Gather all the stuff you need–it’s a great excuse to go shopping.
3. Get organized–file it, display it, separate it… If you organize it enough, you won’t remember where you put it.
4. Look for it. See above.
5. Distract yourself: catch up on social media.
6. Plan–make a plan, write down your goals. If you make a detailed enough plan, you won’t have time to do it.
7. Prioritize: Get your priorities straight. Do the things you want to do first and leave the important things for later. If they are truly important, you’ll get to them…eventually.
8. Most importantly, just don’t…begin. What you don’t begin, you’ll never complete.
More than a word, Begin only becomes real when we…begin.
What are you having trouble getting started with today?