By Leo Babauta
We’ve all done it: we have an important task to do, and yet we have to do a thousand other things before we can start:
When we’re done with all of that, we decide it’s time to get going with that important task … but first, there’s that one other thing we realized we need to do. Every little task takes importance over this important task.
Try this experiment: commit yourself to doing the one big important task you know you’ve been wanting to do (it’s usually one you can identify easily, because you’ve been putting it off) … and commit to doing it right after you’re done reading this post.
See if you find little things you need to do first, before you can get started. If you have no problem, commit yourself to doing the next most important task (or continuing this one, if it needs several sessions) first thing tomorrow morning. I mean first thing, before you start checking messages or getting ready or taking care of the little things you normally do in the morning.
And then try it every day this week. If you’re like most people, you’ll find a bunch of things you need to do to clear the decks before you can get started.
But here’s what I’ve been reminding myself: you don’t need to clear the decks to get started. You can just launch into the important task.
The feeling that you need to take care of everything else first comes from a handful of sources:
Here’s what I’ve been practicing around this:
In addition, I’ll keep a note where I can write down the small things that I think of doing, and know that I can get to those later in the day. There’s a place for those things, but it’s not right now.
What is worthy of your full heart, attention and devotion right now?