Just Get Started

How to stop procrastination in its tracks and do your most important work, even when you don't feel like it

Here’s the situation:

You have some important tasks on your to-do list.

You know they need to get done, and you know that doing them is the key to achieving your goals.

…and yet there you sit, on the couch, watching TV, or doing whatever it is that you do to distract yourself, instead of doing the work.

Why?

We all sometimes fall into the classic trap where we sit and wait for inspiration to strike, rather than getting down to business. The solution is almost deceptively simple:

Just get started.

I know what you’re thinking. You want to know how to do the work, and my advice is to… just get started? What kind of help is that? I could’ve just told you to do the work by doing the work.

Except they’re not the same.

When I say “just get started,” I’m talking about the actual physical action of moving over to your desk (or wherever you need to be), and beginning the task at hand.

You don’t have to do the whole thing. Just do a tiny bit.

Once you’ve done that tiny bit, you’ll likely find that momentum takes over and carries you to the finish line.

People often think of action as a result of motivation. In reality, the opposite is true: motivation is a result of action.

The more you do, the more motivated you will be to do more. As you watch your progress play out in front of you, you’ll get psyched up to keep pushing forward.

But if you’re just sitting there like a lump, what do you think is going to motivate you? You may actually become less motivated because all you’ll see is a lack of progress.

Just get started.

Use every bit of willpower you have to take those first few steps. Don’t think about your work as a gigantic, unmanageable process. Just focus on the one or two steps that are directly in front of you, and use momentum to carry you beyond that.