Any project goes through three distinct phases: Start, Persevere & Complete.
Typically we are stronger or weaker at different phases. It’s valuable to reflect on which phase you are most comfortable in, and where you need the most help.
My wife Trish calls herself a “momentum chick.” In her words, she’s great when she’s going on something, but sometimes needs a bit of a shove to get started. So I asked her how she gets going, and she shared three different ways that she tricks herself into getting started on a project:
- Do just twenty minutes. She tells herself she only has to spend twenty minutes on the project or task and then she can stop if she wants. She even sets an alarm for twenty minutes and gives herself complete permission to stop after that (although for that twenty minutes, she is not allowed any distractions). And inevitably by the time the alarm goes off, she’s engaged and she keeps going.
- Start with the easiest things first. This was one I used for my current book. The project of writing a book of 55,000 words can be a bit daunting. I started writing when we stopped in Bali for 4 days on the way through to Java, and my first milestone was 10,000 words by the time we left Bali. I pasted in 5,000 words that I’d written on the topic in other places. Even if they all needed editing, I suddenly felt I was under way. I’d started.
- Go to a coffee shop with your laptop. This is a great way to lock yourself in to getting started. Trish knows that if she sits down in a cafe, orders her favourite coffee (long black with hot milk on the side) suddenly getting started isn’t so hard. And there isn’t anything else to do, so it doesn’t take as much energy.
Love to hear your thoughts and experiences. What do you do to get started? You can leave your comments below.