3 tricks to start working despite not feeling like it

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 probably feel like it 4-5 times a month.

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.

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 avoid.

When you get tired of thinking about a piece of work and feeling bad for not finishing it yet, go "screw it, let's do it" and start with something, anything.

Start sloppy

Another trick to 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, leading you to avoid it by procrastinating.

Instead, you can escape those expectations by starting deliberately badly.

Write a chapter of a book by hand - you know that's not what will get published.
Start designing a poster with a sharpie, instead of the latest high-tech illustrating program.
Create a working prototype for your first 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 easier to start. And then it's easier to continue.

Start small

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.

All those are small steps along a possible longer journey. And taking those steps, while they may seem tiny, is what can lead to ultimately completing the longer journey.

Every small win is motivating. Every small win builds momentum. Momentum energizes.


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?



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