10 ways to maintain a bias toward taking action
1. As soon as you think about doing something, just start
For example, "I should do yoga before work this morning". Immediately start doing yoga. Even 10 minutes of yoga is beneficial and will help with your day. When you think "I should do the dishes" immediately start doing them.
2. Commit to "Everydays"
These are things that you do every day, like publishing a list on NotePD, doing yoga before work, writing a song or drawing a sketch. I have found that I can do all of these every day in less than 2 hours. The more of these I do, the more I realized I can do.
3. Get organized in small ways
I am a pretty messy guy but I mounted a keyring holder by the door and now know exactly where my keys, watch and headphones are. This saves me about 30 seconds 10 times a day. I put a house key, flash light and poop bags onto my dog's leash with carabiners, also saving me about 1 minute 5 times a day.
4. Keep an oversized whiteboard where you work
This can be a kitchen or office. I once had a job where they painted the entire office with whiteboard paint. Any time you think of something that you need to do write it on the board. When you finish the task, erase it.
This system makes it easy to consolidate tasks. For example, over 2 days you might need to make 4 phone calls about a bill or something. Then when you have a few minutes, you can look at your board and start one of the phone calls as you go out for a walk, etc.
5. The perfect is the enemy of the good, and the good is the enemy of getting things done
The most important part of creativity is to do something every day. In every project, no matter how crappy, you will learn something and improve. I have started sketching and most of mine are so bad I would be embarrassed to have anyone see them. But that is not the point. The point is to do it every day. Then you have a benchmark.
6. Break larger projects into small steps
For example I have a hobby of woodworking. Finishing is a process that can take weeks, but each step of applying finish takes only a few minutes at a time. So one day I will set out all the materials and clear a space in the garage where I can have a project sit for a long time. The next day(s) I will mix stains and test on scraps, etc. etc. So instead of one huge project I have dozens of mini projects that take less than 20 minutes each. I then do something about it every day.
7. Commit to doing something "before I go to bed" or "before lunch"
This is sometimes called a forcing function. It is amazing how quickly you can get work done if you are hungry! This works even better if you commit to someone else that you will "send them an email before 3 PM." Every once in a while you will miss a deadline but for the 90% of deadlines that you make it is worth it.
8. "Real artists ship" - Steve Jobs
For creative projects, keep producing them: the art is in the production quantity and process.
May people like to write music, draw, sew, run marathons or write novels. I have found in the past that I was stuck waiting to make the "perfect" XYZ and get frustrated when it wasn't and then not even start. What I have learned is that most great artists/business/athletes practice thousands of times before they become great. Mozart may have written his first symphony when he was 4 years old but nobody listens to that one!
9. You overestimate what you can do in a year but underestimate what you can do in 10 years
I heard this first attributed to Bill Gates. Very true.
10. If you decide to start doing this, the results will compound.
I committed to do this in 2023. I have found that in less then three months I have had dramatic changes in my daily life (even if they are only apparent to me!)