Short thoughts: The problem with starting

Photo by Mikito Tateisi on Unsplash

I want to discuss this thing with you that impacts this site greatly. I am an overthinker and that makes me a perfectionist and procrastinator. I think I may have narrowed it down to this: I struggle between the concepts of Just Start and Plan Ahead.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Just Start – the idea that you have to start somewhere. Of course, any enterprise requires some form of research but at some point the only thing left is learning by doing. If you waited for the perfect opportunity, the perfect conditions or the perfect bout of motivation, nothing would ever get started. That means that you will not always be aware of the next step or the time that tasks actually take until you get there. You might have an idea but without starting you won’t have enough info to plan further. Which is where the problems of Just Start begin for me. There is no routine and no frame of reference. Every time I finish a task, I am looking around for the next one and rely on random ideas and motivation striking to find the next step. This often paralyzes me as there are too many options. 

Perfectionism also plays into this: I want this project to be perfect, every entry to be the perfect length, my concept to be perfectly executed, my schedule to be perfectly met. But that is not going to happen in the beginning because I don’t know how all of these things work. Just Start makes perfectionism impossible – at least for a good while in the beginning.

So, my problems with the Just Start mentality are the paralysis of too many options, the infinite possibilities of research and the impossibility of perfection. 

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

The opposite of Just Start is – of course – Plan Ahead: The idea of knowing exactly what is that you are trying to do before you actually start doing it. In my mind, research is the key to starting successfully. I feel the need to prepare and plan ahead to know as precisely as possible what will come at me and what my plan is actually going to look like in detail. 

But trying to be as informed and prepared as possible for any situation in a complex project like this always also comes with a downside: the more you research, the bigger the task at hand will start to seem. There are so many possibilities and options for development to discover and you will want to include too – especially if you are a perfectionist. The sheer size of what is technically possible will loom over you, scaring you into inactivity. But it’s not all about negativity. On the other hand, Plan Ahead is also paralyzing by positive example: Looking at all the possibilities of great content, construction and business opportunities out there makes it almost impossible to focus on the little starter corner of a blog I’m actually trying to build. 

So for me, the issues with the idea of Plan Ahead are that learning about all the possibilities paralyses the perfectionist in my but it also wildly inflates my dreams.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

I don’t know yet what to do with this information but I’m working on it.  Maybe you have ideas?

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