Productivity Tip #11: Stop Planning, Just Do It!
When it comes to being productive – much like anything in life – there is no one definitive way of doing things. Approaches covered in books like Getting Things Done and The Four Hour Work Week provide a solid framework and best practice for effective and efficient productivity but they don’t cover everything. One of the biggest tips you’ve probably been taught from an early age is to plan. Plan, prepare, do your research. Only fools rush in, after all.
However, this proves why there can never be a definitive way of doing things. Not many productivity books will say this but sometimes it’s useful and better to actually just start. Skip the preparation and do something – anything – on the project. Planning beforehand is certainly important because if done properly it means you get the actual work done much more smoothly (whenever I skip the preparatory notes before writing up a blog post it usually takes twice as long to do).
However, planning can also quickly become an over-indulgent pastime and it can often be beneficial to just get on with it. Ever used the preparation stage of work as an excuse to procrastinate on actually doing it? Preparation makes things a hell of a lot easier but it doesn’t necessarily move a project forwardm and how much can you really figure out from just planning? The trick is to get the balance right. Realize when your preparation has served its purpose and just start the work! It’s one thing to know how do to something, it’s quite another to actually do it.
Productivity Tips: 10 Clever Ideas For Getting Things Done is an updated and expanded collection of the first ten posts in my popular productivity tips series and is now available to all for free.