Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What Are You Waiting For?! Begin Already!

It seems a lot of us are suffering from being "out of sync", "out of balance" and just plain old "can't get it all done." This post is about some of what I've learned about time management, procrastination, the evil of perfectionism and the woes of not knowing where to start, what to do, or when to do what.


Here is Part I:


Act! Now. Today. This very moment. Now, wait a minute, I hear in chorus from those of you reading this post. Are you crazy? On what?! When?!! How?!! Read on!


Let's start with what. The "what" or "where" doesn't really matter - just begin! Instead of beginning, we waste time trying to figuring out the perfect place to start, the best method, which step first, whether we'll have enough time, how far can we get, what we'll do if we do it wrong, or get started in the wrong spot. Whoa, enough already! Just begin!


Be willing to begin imperfectly! When you think about it, what do we begin perfectly? Very little, it's just that we have more faith in other beginnings and so we do not mire them in guilt, worry, perfectionism and procrastination. Need a plan? Okay, make one, but don't mistake it for a start. Plans are good, even desirable, but they are worthless if we do not begin! Nor do they guarantee against misadventures, mistakes, detours, or interruptions. If we are willing to accept that a beginning, no matter how imperfect, is better than no beginning, we take a huge step forward.


If not now, when? There's always going to be obstacles to the flow, interruptions to the process, detours that will come up, unforeseen. Accept that, and begin anyway! Why wait for that perfect, uninterrupted block of time we all wish for, dream of and pine for when you know it's not likely to happen?! Consider that if we worked on our drawing skills for just 5 minutes a day, at the end of one year we would have worked on them over 30 hours! Unrealistic, you say? 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week and you'll still have over 21 hours!


How many opportunities do we let go by that we could be accomplishing something because they're imperfect - not enough time, there are other people around, it's too late, too early, too hot, too cold, it's raining, it's dark, it's light, too tired, too stressed, too [fill in the blank]. We procrastinate by confusing needs with wants. Do we need to do this thing OR do we want to do this thing? It comes down to acting on the imperfect choice.


To be continued tomorrow!


8 comments:

  1. Yes, I quite agree. I used to not have enough time in the garden when I worked full time. I told myself just 15minutes per day. It worked. I now apply that 15minutes a day to many things and so I accomplish more than I think I can. Yes, I need to go now and get my 15 minutes going...

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  2. Perfectly said! Perhaps we should all copy this off and hang it where we can read it everyday. It is so easy to let life interfere with our creative plans.

    Gee, you are so smart.

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  3. I did it....it's good. I just sketched a fairy. Inspired by your flower, I pulled out a piece of scrap paper and sketched her out........that's progress for me. She's not very good (but she's on paper!). Great post. I am always putting off and waiting for the perfect moment. Thank you!

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  4. ...p.s. my word verifications was REACH. That's perfect.....have to REACH to grow and it fits you post...

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  5. Very well written, and very insightful! I felt like you were talking directly to me based on my most recent post, and hopefully you didn’t mistake my post for whining. I love your suggestion of beginning IMPERFECTLY. I agree planning is essential, but over-planning or “perfect planning” is just another excuse for procrastination. Can’t wait for Part 2 of your post!

    I also like Lisa’s 15-minute a day suggestion. That could be used in so many different areas in life.

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  6. Thanks, everyone. This seems to be one of those posts that everybody relates to on some level.

    Lisa, excellent idea, and thanks so much for sharing!

    Teri, I don't know, if I was smart I wouldn't be so out of sync!

    Kelly, can't wait to see that fairy!

    Krista, LOL, girl, why in the world would you think I thought you were the one whining when I WAS the one whining?!!!

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  7. Great post and just what I needed to read. Now I am going to get off the computer and start my next project! Thanks.

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  8. Great one. I need to print this out, Laure! (Forunately, I had just painted something immediately prior to reading this.)I am procrastinating really working this painting thing, setting it up as a business, doing more commissions ... maybe even calling myself an artist! After dinner, yes, after dinner ... :-)

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