When Doing is Due (and the Things That Keep Us From Doing)

are you doing enough doing?
Photo by windy sydney

Feeling a little stuck today getting started? Maybe you’re spending too much time doing one (or more) or these:

  • organizing
  • testing
  • preparing
  • collecting
  • analyzing
  • measuring
  • thinking
  • tweaking
  • practicing
  • assessing
  • questioning
  • experimenting
  • even brainstorming

While all of these things have their merits (and should be done at some point), they’re usually the things that keep us from doing.

The best thing about just sitting down and doing something, anything, is that doing usually takes care of all of the little things in the list above.

Doing helps you test. Doing can be experimenting. Doing can even stimulate ideas.

So instead of focusing on the smaller stuff listed above, just start doing. You could analyze or test or brainstorm for hours, but at the end of the day you really have nothing to show for it.

It’s essentially spending all day wishing that something was happening. And there’s that old adage about wishing:

If you find yourself in a rut of doing lots of the above list, than maybe what you’re working on needs some swift action to get the ball rolling. Block out 15 minutes to an hour for straight doing on whatever you’re working on. Thinking and doing shouldn’t be isolated as two separate experiences while creating something. In fact, they go hand in hand.

If you’re stuck, odds are it’s because you’re not doing enough doing.

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Leave a Comment

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • mikezilla14 December 30, 2009, 2:40 am

    There are way too many tasks that masquerade as useful, ultimately if we don't spend the time needed with our sleeves rolled up actually moving a project forward, we're standing still.

    Reply
  • mikezilla14 December 30, 2009, 8:40 am

    There are way too many tasks that masquerade as useful, ultimately if we don't spend the time needed with our sleeves rolled up actually moving a project forward, we're standing still.

    Reply
  • Shea McGuier December 30, 2009, 4:28 pm

    Hi Glen,

    This is a good reminder to stop waiting & start working. What's the list of words you would offer for the DOING part? For example…

    Marketing
    Promoting
    Publishing
    Connecting
    Educating
    Speaking
    Producing/Printing/Manufacturing
    Others….?

    In other words, putting the work OUT in the world and engaging with real people.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers!
    Shea

    Reply
  • jackkinsella December 30, 2009, 6:28 pm

    Some of those activities you listed as “preventing you from doing” are even inefficient ways of doing those very things which prevent you from doing.

    For example, the best analysis is to do and pay attention to what you see. If instead, you start by thinking through a problem you spend many hours making little progress since difficult problems contain too many variables for you to reason accurately about. Worse yet, your analysis may even labour under an incorrect assumption, leading you to the wrong answer.

    Had you just “done” instead, incorrect assumptions would be unearthed and complexity managed.

    Interesting post.

    Reply
  • fotbollströjor barn March 17, 2017, 9:18 am

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    Reply