The Art of Doing Anything

Three easy steps to help you achieve.

As John Mulaney said, “It’s so easy not to do anything, that the fact that you do anything at all it’s truly remarkable. It is factually 100% times easier to do nothing than it is to do anything.” Doing things can be tedious, daunting, and intimidating just by the mere thought of it. I have found that the following steps help me get things done no matter what:

Psych Yourself Up Just Enough to Get Started

Good mood not required and self bribes are fair game. The easiest way to do a task its to just start. You might be sitting there thinking… err? Ok. Do birds fly? Does wood burn? Does this segment have a point? Yes! It does. Often times we procrastinate starting a task because the conditions aren’t “perfect”, or we are utilizing exterior factors that seem relevant as excuses to delay beginning. I have found that just starting, even if committing only 5 minutes, its the best way to break the ice and make the task less intimidating. So just commit to 5 minutes, get the ball rolling and afterwards just proceed procrastinating as you wish.

Determine Goals & Generate Checkpoints of Success

Having the clarity of what you want to achieve is key. This way you can quantify the amount of effort required of you. Generating checkpoints beforehand is also crucial. This will allow you to have small wins that lead up to the big win: finishing the task. Having more wins will boost your mood, perception of self & help you get through the task at a break-friendly speed.

Give Yourself A Reward

Even though you probably bribed yourself at the beginning just to get started, giving yourself a reward once you are done will be positive reinforcement of your effort. Life is about the little things — and doing things take effort and time. Rewarding yourself with a snack, drink or break is a good way to amplify your sense of accomplishment.

Bonus: If All Else Fails — Make It A Game

At my household we aspire to have as much fun as we can. Sometimes when tasks prove too daunting or keep getting pushed back, we turn them into games and raise the stakes. From bets, to prizes, to special privileges— we make sure that the prize is worth finishing the task for.

While life can be extraordinarily exciting, some day to day things might not seem as great. Or maybe you’re struggling with something that seems super intimidating and you just can’t get yourself to find the “right time”. Regardless of what is holding you back, just start — even if for a short time. Then set checkpoints and goals, reward yourself for the effort, and, if you find it helpful/everything else fails, make it a game!

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Architectural design practitioner on my way to licensure. In a quest to find my voice in a noisy world.

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Andrea Arias

Architectural design practitioner on my way to licensure. In a quest to find my voice in a noisy world.