One Bag Nation

Just Do It – Starting is the Hardest Part

Posted on: June 23, 2008

Any anti-procrastination advice worth its salt will urge you to just get started on whatever it is that you’re putting off. Everything from daily housekeeping chores – like washing the dishes – to really important and complex projects – like writing a will – can be broken down into small pieces. Start somewhere, anywhere, and you usually end up doing much more than you thought you could.

Sarah at organizedmom.net posted about this today; after a very busy day, she was feeling really tired and not at all motivated to clean house. But once she got up and started picking up, momentum carried her until she finished. Her reward was the ability to sit and fully enjoy her television show without the distraction of the messy house.

I know I often spend more time dreading a task than it would take to just do it. This is a habit and a way of thinking that I’m working hard to change. I feel sure that if I do, I will experience far more order, serenity and peace of mind.

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7 Responses to "Just Do It – Starting is the Hardest Part"

I agree – and I think it works for lot of things in all areas of life. Just do it… once you start, it doesn’t seem that hard anymore.

Hi Ann,

I see you like Nike’s slogan too. I think it’s so perfect and to the point.

You’re right, if we start, our motivation often takes us further than we anticipated.

@Vered: so true, the anticipation and resisting drains much more energy than the actual doing.

@Barbara: I wish I lived by the slogan more often. My life would be in better shape, but I’m trying!

I think that people tend to underestimate the power of small actions. If you set aside just one dollar to invest everyday, with the power of compound interest, you’ll soon have a nice nest egg saved up. You don’t have to wait to have $50,000.00 to start investing, which is what a lot of people think. That same principle applies to everything else, like you point out: just start and take small steps.

@Marelisa: I talk about that issue in my All or Nothing Thinking post.

I think it’s connected to our desire for instant gratification as well.

Momentum is a beautiful thing. I think that’s why mornings can be really productive for me–nothing’s happened that stops the flow. I 100 percent agree that just doing something is easiest, and I’d love to hear if you’ve got any cool ways to get yourself to take that first step. (It’s the hardest part for me!)

Sara,
The best trick I know is to tell yourself you only have to work on whatever it is you’re dreading for 15 minutes – or even just five. You can check out my post about this, and read about how I’ve been decluttering my basement, working down there just five minutes at a time.

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