Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Start (spoiler) doing

While thinking and reflecting are truly important, they are nothing compared to the ultimate -ing word. I'll give you a hint, it starts with "do-".

So here are four tips to get started on the doing:
  • Write things down
  • Make yourself accountable to someone else: just telling yourself you'll do something doesn't cut it
  • Give it a name or a slogan: don't keep using two whole sentences to describe your crusade or idea, give it a name. It will start to take on a life of it's own before you know it
  • Set aggressive deadlines: since you know that most things can be put off indefinitely
I'll give you a quick example. When I started this blog, I told myself "I'm going to write a post every day." When that didn't work, I changed it to "I'm going to average one post per day." Then quickly that faded.

Then I made The Promise, making myself accountable to my readers that I would post every week day. Finally, I gave my email signature a new slogan: "A new post every weekday @". Maybe I'm just a big dork, but even though I'm only in my third week since the promise, it always makes me smile, and I am proud to have that as a part of my signature.

I'm sure I can come up with a few more suggestions, but I don't want to overwhelm anyone. No matter what you're trying to do, it's easy to get caught up in and then subsequently overwhelmed by the details. And while this may be calling the kettle black, don't get caught in the education loop. You'll never start because you spend all your time learning about how to do it right.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

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