to do or to think before doing

Choosing progress over perfection

to do or to think before doing
Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Most of my problems stem from the simple fact that I spend more time 'thinking' about doing something rather than actually doing it.

This morning, I had a bunch of tasks to get through. After dropping D off to school, I took a notepad and pen and wrote down all the emails I had to send, the little tasks I had to do in preparation for this week and the one after, and even the chores around the house that have been pending for a long time.

I had been procrastinating on many of these for a long time, often believing that I needed to prepare a little more or think about these things a little more.

Yet, when I got down to it, the tasks that I had put off for months took me no longer than a morning of focused work to get done.

Funny how that happened, eh?

This is not the first time I've had this epiphany. It's as if someone else wrote that post four months ago! I wonder why I come to learn this lesson over and over again.  

Despite my efforts, resistance has been getting the better of me.

The fear that drives me astray the most is this: What if this, whatever I'm working on, doesn't turn out to be as well as I had hoped it'd be?

This single question is the reason I procrastinate on a lot of things! The fear that I might screw up in the process.

So now, I give myself permission to make mistakes.
I choose progress over perfection.

Sometimes, I just need to get started!

So that answers the question for me. If the choice is between doing and thinking, doing wins hands down. Thinking is, quite often, fear in a very clever disguise!

The flip side is, once I get going, I wrongly expect to see big progress and big results very soon. And when that doesn't happen, as expected, I think I'm not doing this right, and I come to a screeeeeeching halt.

Until non-action becomes boring and annoying and depressing, and the next such epiphany about doing vs thinking comes to me, and I get into the thick of things once more.

So this time, I'll engage in the action but not expect myself to move mountains overnight.

Action, coupled with patience, is the way to play this long-term game. I will do well to remember that.