To Begin, Begin: And Other Words of Advice I’ve Followed This Year

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I am a “productive procrastinator” in a major way. I like to do my research and know all the best strategies and outcomes and have several back-up options before I begin a major project.

I want things to turn out perfectly.

As you can imagine, this often leads to a never-ending loop of research and testing. I feel more and more overwhelmed. If something doesn’t disrupt this cycle, eventually the whole thing is called off. No bueno.

As the owner of my business, indeed the only employee now, I have to break my own cycle. To begin.

Thus my board.

A felt board saying "To begin, begin."
First thing I see when I sit down at my desk everyday!

I love its neat little black rows of felt and white-lettered Wordsworth quote: “To begin, begin.”

It cheerfully reminds me that the only way the work gets done is… to do the work. Not think about the work. Or research the work to death. But to put both hands in and do the work.

Which leads me to the second bit of advice I’ve been following this year: “Done is better than perfect.” My old boss, Jeff Good, often said this to me when I was going into a tailspin about one thing or another.

So I’ve been charging ahead and getting sh** done. (Which I’m sure Jeff will get a kick out of hearing.)

Much of what I’ve accomplished is far from perfect as first attempts usually are. (I actually have a list of things I want to go back and re-do when time and/or funds allow.) But…

It’s getting done! In the last week, I’ve accomplished a lot more than I thought possible by myself, and soon my first book will be out in the wild! Productivity never felt so good, and it’s inspiring me to get more things that matter done.

As I’m constantly reminding myself, sometimes you just have to stop worrying about perfection and just do the thing.

What are some words of advice that you’ve followed this year? Have you started thinking about what your words might be for next year?

Let me know by leaving a reply below!

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