© alphaspirit – Fotolia.com
We all make to-do lists and certain tasks remain on those lists and get carried forward to the next day. We may have fancy systems like Wunderlist to neatly retain our long lists, but why do we put off certain tasks?
I am not talking about diving off the high board or jumping from an airplane attached to a skydive instructor, I am talking about things much more mundane. This comes up for all of us. I see it in myself, and I see it with clients.
We don’t get things done because we are not sure where to start. Maybe one task was to write a resume, except we haven’t written one in 10 years and have no clue what the best practices are today. Or we have to write a paper or report for the boss and we dislike writing or don’t have any experience in that type of report creation.
As Leo Babauta writes in an article on his zen habits blog, when we put things off it is usually because of fear. What, afraid of writing a report? Afraid of starting a resume? Yes and yes. These tasks seem so miniscule to be afraid of, yet that is exactly what has us frozen into inaction.
Many years ago, my obstetrician told me fear is what fills the space when we don’t have enough information. That stuck with me to this day, because he was so right! After we discussed how to prepare for childbirth, I learned how to research, discuss with others, and ask lots of questions. This empowered me and made it easier to face my fears.
The baby was coming no matter what. I could not avoid action, so this was a perfect opportunity to practice the concept of getting information and then taking the first step.
For the daily mundane tasks, Babauta says to move into the Do Plan. He lays out five steps, but what’s most important is to take action; take any action, just some small step forward. It is amazing how good you will feel once you call that resume coach, or ask a peer how they would approach the budget report, or reach out to the first committee member who will help you tackle the big project you are avoiding.
How do you get into action when fear is the way? What is one small step you’ve been putting off, and are you ready to move forward? Please add your comment below, or share with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or email.