ADHD APPROVED | Put Up Or Shut Up
Come on… you can do it!
JUST GET STARTED
My final piece of advice for how to start smart: just begin. This single piece of advice has helped me more than any of the rest of my tricks. I really mean that. I’ve talked before about how difficult it is for me to start a task, and that’s always going to be true. But it’s also true that I want to be productive, and that doing anything except doom scrolling isn’t so bad once I actually start. It might not seem sensible, especially for someone like me. I was an English major in college. I wrote dozens of papers, hundreds of pages. I promise you, I never would’ve written a single one if I’d spent any amount of time on ‘outlines’ and ‘rough drafts’. I sit down, and I write everything, all at once, no matter how long it takes. I stopped making excuses about ‘not having the right quotes’ and ‘needing to have an outline’ a long, long time ago. If you want to start smart, you should, too.
The truth is, when you’re starting a new venture, sometimes you just need to begin. You need to stop coming up with reasons about why you can’t and just start, otherwise you’re never going to. I’m not saying you need to be like me and rush into every single project, but you can’t spend all your time worrying. You’re going to forget things, and you’re going to make mistakes, and it’s going to be fine when you do. Just shut up and get to work. Stop talking about how much you want to get started, or how you’re waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect person to collaborate with. Shut up and get to work.
WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?
There are obviously good reasons for why you can’t do some things right this minute. Don’t ignore that if you’re about to make a big mistake. If you don’t have the money or the knowledge right now, that’s fine. But instead of bemoaning about how you can’t, try to start fixing those things. If you don’t have enough knowledge, instead explaining how you don’t know anything, do some research. Put in the work. Find people who do know, and ask them. Read a book. Go to a class. Whatever it is that needs doing, do it. And guess what? Now you’ve started.
The most common excuse is time, or a lack thereof. And I get it. I’m not about to tell you to just cut out every single thing you enjoy about life to make time. We’re not productivity machines, and I don’t expect you to work without a break. But if you really don’t have time, and you’re not prepared to make some sacrifices, then stop talking about how you don’t have time.
I am a Nike ad. I am that one Simpsons meme. I am Emperor Palpatine. I am telling you to Do It. Take a seat, clear out a few hours, and just start. Trying to write a book? Great! Stop coming up with character backstories, world lore, and maps and just write the first chapter. Want to try out a new art form? Cool! Look up some youtube videos, take a class on it, and practice. Want to start a new business? Good for you! Find a mentor, file the articles of organization, and find some investors. Whatever it is, stop wasting your time and everybody else’s and just start.
This is literally the most important advice I can give you. Nothing, and I mean nothing, works as well as this. Will you have a perfect start? Absolutely not. But you’ve done something. Even complete and total failure is better than no progress at all, because now, you can try again. If you don’t start, you won’t even get to try again. Ultimately, if you don’t start, you don’t grow, and if you don’t grow, you die.