Many of us get excited about executing revolutionary new ideas that will take the world by storm. Sometimes though, if we don’t take immediate action on the idea, it can start to go stale for us. After letting it sit for a few days (weeks, months, or even years) while the idea may still be the revolutionary one it was from the start, it has lost its zest. There are some serious action-taking steps that can be taken to help you create your exciting new work.
1. Launch and Learn
Otherwise known as “ready, fire, aim”, this is the time to get your hands dirty! Screw up and laugh, but no matter what, don’t stop until you deem the project done. Not because you give up, but because it’s finally complete. The best way to get your work done, rather than procrastinating, is to do it, without putting too much thought into it, and “get it to market”. This is the best way to sidestep the inner critic/perfectionist we all have that wants to knock down every idea before it can fully blossom. When we produce a ton, it gives us the luxury to see what sticks.
2. Creative Compass and Being an “Optimalist”
Next, take a step back and review the work. This gives us the opportunity to check the compass of where you see the future of your work going, and if this project is worthy of pursuing long term. This is the time to bring out the “Optimalist.”, as Tal Ben-Shahar, the author of the book “Happier” puts it, accepting our best efforts and enjoying that we did our best. Being a perfectionist is old school, boring, and difficult, because we can never actually meet the unrealistic standards of the ideal we strive for, blocking us from getting anything done. How silly.
3. “I am going directly to work!”
Help give the willpower muscle a kick in the pants when it’s fading. “I am going directly to work” is a powerful mantra coined by Eric Maisel, the world-renowned creativity expert, who uses this mantra to get going on work with gusto! Even reading this gives me a feeling of masculine compassion to focus and work on my creative project or homework. This one works exceptionally well when I’m scattered and need to cut through all the distractions to really get to work.
4. “What do I need to do in the next 3 minutes?”
Taking a page out of Steven Chandler’s “Time Warrior”, my number one favorite way to get going on a project is to play a game against the clock. Not in an anxious, seizing up kind of way, but a fun, how quickly can I get started technique. Once I begin, I give the task five minutes, and if it’s still agonizing, then I might move on. Usually, I find the momentum begins to build, and after ten minutes I may even be done. That was easy.
Consistently reinforcing and recommitting to why we are attacking a project is one of the most important keys to follow through. If we can keep the overarching idea in sight, it is easy motivation to push through plateaus; maybe even write it on a sticky note and put it on your laptop to read whenever you aren’t feelin’ it.
Remember, 80% of the hard part is just getting started, not the act of creating itself; this can stifle us from ever beginning our revolutionary new idea. So seriously, do you have an idea for something? Go. Right now. Do it… with a smile, keeping in mind your reasons for wanting to do it in the first place.