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Start doing instead of planning

This is a story about how I realized that it’s way more important to actually DO instead of never-ending PLANNING. We tend to get sucked into a planning process – when and how we will make things happen. We like waiting for the perfect moment and being ready. So this is a simple reminder that things get done when you DO them. Here’s how to start doing instead of planning.

 

Do you ever feel like you’re running in circles?

Coming up with new ideas… planning… starting… but never going anywhere?

My thoughts on this subject started with reading articles* directly related to the same topic.

It was my personal wake up call to review my working habits and start thinking that maybe, just maybe, I’m doing something terribly wrong. If you feel like you could get done more if you’d leave your fears and doubts behind, read on.

 

How to do what really matters - start doing instead of planning

 

I’m a part of millennials which basically means that although I know there is a life behind computer screens and information can be found in books, I still find myself stuck by the computer for most of my life. As someone recently stated,

we used to visit the internet, now we live here”

Well, it’s also my source of income, my holy grail of creativity and much more. It’s not all a waste of time.

But looking at the hours spent by my laptop has made me think:

  • What are the actually useful things I do when I’m online?
  • What are the daily routines I’m just stuck with?
  • How can I improve this time and make it count?!

When I started using RescueTime I saw the real statistic of what was going on. There was too much time spent on stuff. 

On stuff that was somewhat useful but mostly – not as useful as I’d like it to be. Those were inspirational articles, time spent in Facebook groups networking, hours of e-mail answering.

I realized that a lot of my time is spent on managing, for planning, for preparing to make things work. But when it came to getting it done – so much of the time had already passed… it was no use!

And soon afterward I realized that I’m trying to catch up with way too much information and be too present.

If you feel anything like me, make sure to read some simple yet very effective tips on how to deal with this information and to-do overload you’re getting yourself into.

 

How to start doing instead of planning

STEP #1: Get more intentional about things you do

The very moment when I realized how much only kind of useful stuff I do, I started rethinking not only my business but my whole life.

Where else was I spending my time with no real outcome? What are the things I do, think about and have that should not be a part of my life?

That’s when I got into minimalism. I started reading about it and understood how our focus can be changed by having less. Fewer tasks on a to-do list, as well as fewer clothes in a closet.

As soon as we start focusing on what really matters and throw out the rest, the value of our time increases and things get done.

Ask yourself what will serve you in the long run?

Don’t do things just because they are in your way, they seem to be convenient or someone said you should get on it.

Be mindful about your time and where you invest it. Strive to seek reasons behind the tasks on your list. Review and evaluate where your 24 hours really go.

 

Custom Pinterest graphic design for bloggers

 

STEP #2: Stop consuming useless information and stop doing useless musts

Unless you don’t know that you’re screwed, no one will be able to realize this for you. It’s like an addiction!

As long as you see the problem, there is a solution. And here are some things to consider.

Decide what’s really important

Remember: it’s not about doing either boring or fun stuff. It’s about doing what matters. There’s always an additional time in your life for fun and having time off is crucial. But it’s also important to have quality time off, not just sitting by the TV.

  • Will it be reading a marketing strategy book or watching News?
  • Will making your to-do list prettier or checking something off that list make you more productive?
  • Which apps are just for numb fun and which – for educational or useful purposes?
  • What TV Shows can you find inspiration from and what eat more of your time than anything else?
  • What activities you do just to escape what you really need to get done?!

Eliminate the rest

And I mean it. ELIMINATE is the answer. Delete apps that are consuming way too much of your time. Delete e-books that are waiting for your attention more than a half year or so. Get out of useless Facebook groups. Unfollow people. Eliminate the clutter from your life and business.

When you have all of this stuff around, it’s easy to give up. Besides that, your mind is cluttered with this information waiting for your attention. Let it go!

Manage your time

This is the hardest part of this. Manage your time and see where it goes.

Dedicate time to rest and recreational activities – as much as possible. But do the work when you need to get it done. And make sure to manage all of that.

I currently use Google Calendar to deal with overwhelm – that’s where I’m adding EVERYTHING I both need to do and afterward – what I actually did in that time.

So at the end of the day I know:

  • How much time I’ve actually invested in better me and a better future?
  • Where have I left is slip, more than it was necessary?
  • How can I improve the next day or the next week? How can I plan better?

Learn to ditch projects

Whatever we’re talking about here: articles, books, movies, projects, new hobbies. People have a tendency to finish things no matter what because they’ve wasted so much time on that already, how can they not to finish what’s started! But it’s a false argument.

If you’ve started something that doesn’t feel quite right, WHY you should waste even more time on that and then be unsatisfied after all? Just quit! There’s nothing bad about it.

 

Start doing instead of planning

STEP #3: Learn by doing – practice makes perfect!

Most of the people tend to think they don’t know enough to get them going. They always feel like learning more is the answer. When, in reality, you just have to get started!

Whether it’s your business, e-mail newsletter, photographing, fitness or cooking. Just go for it! Don’t make “not knowing” or “not having an experience” your excuse. It’s so easy to fall into this trap…

You can still learn and don’t get me wrong – it’s always a good idea to learn something new. But don’t limit yourself by the things you don’t know. Yet.

Getting things done will make you feel more inspired and you’ll be able to learn from your own mistakes.

Don’t bury yourself under the pile of must-do articles, books, how-tos. Instead, do the activities that motivate you to get better, that improve your abilities. Be ACTIVE and meaningful in your life.

 

Finding the balance

By all of this, I don’t mean that you should recklessly get into everything that comes on your mind, without giving it a thought.

Planning IS an important part of the process in most cases. What we need to do is to learn how to find the balance.

  • Give up the excuses and evaluate which steps of the process are truly meaningful to get things DONE.
  • Create systems that work for you and follow them, instead of getting distracted by all kinds of new information that comes your way.
  • Schedule time for learning but don’t forget implementing

 

Suggested reading list

Although providing you with a list of suggested reads might go against the idea of this article itself (stop learning, start doing!!), it’s still important to improve, widen your horizons and, after all, get some additional inspiration. WHEN it’s relevant, not just used as an excuse.

Here are some books I have personally found truly valuable when it comes to becoming more productive and getting things done:

*Mentioned articles

9 Replies to “Start doing instead of planning”

  1. Arrêter de consommer et CREER plus! says: March 28, 2017 at 8:23 am

    […] Deux articles très intéressants: Stop learning start applying & Start doing instead of planning […]

  2. Ryan says: June 15, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Killer article. Also, super relevant to my sitch right now. Just started a site days ago and freelancing about a month and a half ago. Thanks

    1. Ieva Laicane says: June 19, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Hi, Ryan,

      I’m super excited you found this valuable! Thanks for your comment & the best of luck with your freelancing career!

  3. Cybergenic Associates Int’l says: August 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    Hello! We just came across this blog and find this really helpful. Thanks for posting this. I think it’s relatable since we tend to keep old files etc. Making sure we still have them just in case we need them. This reminds us that we have to check and delete the unnecessary ones 🙂 Great blog!

    http://www.cybergenic.net/

    1. Ieva Laicane says: August 16, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m happy to hear you found this useful. Cheers!

  4. Isabella Piontek says: November 20, 2017 at 6:17 am

    Hey Leva! Thank you for the insight. I love this blog post because of how much truth it holds! TAKE ACTION. Anytime I talk with a successful entrepreneurs, blogger, or anyone really, they tell me the got to where they are today because they just went out and did. That’s what I fully intend to do. We are doing it!

    1. Ieva Laicane says: November 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      I’m super excited to hear that you’ve found this valuable and inspiring 🙂 Cheers!

  5. Jan says: May 27, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Love the info and the spirit of the blog post, but really wish you put a link to those two awesome articles you referenced, especially when you mentioned their ideas in your own post. Not only did you have me interested in finding out what was so great about them, I think it would make you look more professional and less like you are stealing their info. If you’re using someone else’s ideas without referencing it properly it’s shady, even when you admit it’s someone else’s idea. Go the full mile and give them the full credit! They deserve it!

    1. admin says: May 27, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! Actually, both articles are linked at the end of the post 🙂
      Thanks for reading & I hope to see you around.

      Cheers,
      Ieva.

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