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24/06/2016
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09/09/2016

Planning Isn’t Action, or How to Stop Procrastinating

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Planning isn’t action, because it doesn’t produce results. One should learn how to differentiate motion from action, because it is something that even the brightest minds fail to realize. If an action is to happen only once, then planning is more than necessary, because it enables one to strategize and prepare. However, it often happens that people get stuck in the planning process and actually avoid performance, thus slipping into procrastination. We are masters when it comes to avoiding failure, and without action there is no risk of failure.

Those who have experienced this should take the necessary steps to get out of the state of inaction by getting rid of needless distractions, doubts, and perfectionism. Here, we present you with some simple but effective rules of action that will help you perform and step into action.

Start. It’s simple as that. No matter how small the step is, you need to take it. If you have troubles with motivating yourself to run, just jump into your running shoes and get out. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, small steps always work and each step is a victory.

Go consciously and slowly. Nothing has to be done fast, because this is what leads to mistakes. On the other hand, perfection is not at all necessary. Don’t rush, and perform your work consciously.

Avoid negative thinking. If you don’t believe that you will succeed before you even start, then the chances you won’t will increase. Stop doubting yourself or telling yourself that you can do it later. Positive thinking really works and it’s all about what we tell ourselves. Stop the negative thoughts and the urge to quit, and start progressing slowly.

Avoid overthinking. This is what often gets us stuck and has us going in circles. Of course, you need to think before you act in order to get a clear picture of what you are about to do and why. Just don’t get stuck in that process.

Talking is not action. “Talk doesn’t cook rice”, says an old Chinese proverb. Don’t mistake communication for action, even though it is necessary. For example, you’ve always wanted to become a yoga instructor. Instead of talking with other yoga instructors about that, step into action and do what it takes to earn your yoga certification. Reach your goal, become a yoga teacher online.

Meetings aren’t action. Meetings should be held as a means of preparation and planning for action. They don’t get things done and this is one of the most common mistakes in management. Stop holding them often, because they get in the way of actual performance.

Reading about action is not action. Ironically, it is exactly what you are doing now. Theory and practice are there to back each other, but practice builds experience and produces results. Close the books, stop thinking, and turn your theoretical assumptions into reality.

Motion is not action. Even if your days are filled with large amounts of activity, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doing anything. For example, preparing yourself for an exam is motion, while taking the exam is action (which leads to results). If you keep studying and preparing for it, but never really take the exam, you’re avoiding to take the next step. Also, slow down if you find yourself doing too many things at once. Focus on what is important.

Focus and repeat. Forget about unimportant actions, clear your mind from distractions, pick a task that you find important and focus on finishing it. Once you do that, repeat the process with other tasks. Take it slowly, one by one.

Perfectionism kills productivity. Forget it, because it is the archenemy of action. If your mind is fixated on an image of perfection that you would like to achieve, it will stifle your mind, because those kinds of results are impossible to achieve. Don’t let them stop you from performing, just get going.

In the end, inaction is sometimes better than action. This might sound ironic, but if you find that your performance does more harm than good, just stop and think about whether an action is even that important or necessary. Focus on performing actions that are really necessary.

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