Have you ever had so much on your plate that you’re stuck with where to start? I know I have. Last week I started thinking about all the ideas I have to grow ICAP. There is the weekly blog/ezine, the monthly coaching and interview calls, and some content that is already planned to write. Then there is book in progress, the podcast in the works, and the work I want to have happen in our Facebook groups. Wait, I forgot about the webinar I am creating. I know I can look at the my projects and figure out which to pick first, so overwhelm is not the problem.
It really is about uncertainty and where to start or how to move forward on the one project. And, if you are like me, having so much to sort through can keep you stuck. You end up studying the issue to death, over-thinking it, over-revising it, and, yes, staying stuck. I think a good term for this in my case might be analysis-paralysis.
Does this sound familiar? What is the solution? I think it comes down to six steps.
Get clear on what the end looks like
Yet, keep in mind that you do not have to be tied to it as the final outcome. Clarity is king, as they say. It is important for you to have a clear vision of what the end result looks like, but life is going to happen. Don’t be so wedded to the vision that you stay stuck being sure it looks exactly like what you envisioned.
Decide what the next action is, or the next two actions.
You don’t even know what the next seven steps are, but you do likely know the first one or two steps. You cannot worry about whether or not 12 or 120 people sign up for your webinar when you haven’t even created it. You can focus on taking the next action, which in this example might be to outline what the webinar will cover. I love this quote from Martin Luther King and have it on one of my stairs as a reminder: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Don’t research your idea to death
Yes, I’m guilty here! You probably will need to do some research. If you find yourself stuck with weighing options endlessly or wanting to research longer, give yourself a time limit and stick to it. More research does not mean your project will be better. It just means it will take longer to get done.
What if you are still stuck?
Try giving the project a rest. Let your subconscious brain “work” on the problem. You might also just run an idea or two past a colleague if there is one part where you are stuck.
Give up perfectionism
It doesn’t really serve you and will keep you stuck. Sure it is important that what you create is good. I have no doubt that it will be. You just do not have to keep revising it to find the perfect phrase or the perfect illustration, when the one you have already is perfect enough. You can take this sign from my office and put it in yours: “good enough is good enough.”
Commit to take action now!
Nothing succeeds like success, and taking action will move you faster than you think. In other words, start by starting!
It’s your turn!
What do you do when you are stuck? I would love to hear your actions steps on how you get past the paralysis.