How To Move From Learning to Taking Action
With every project I begin, I do my research. I try to learn as much as I can through reading, gathering information and, depending on the project, taking courses and classes. In fact, our industry has evolved around offering endless resources and “How to’s” so we can all learn how to accomplish anything. And, you are doing exactly that at this very moment as you read this blog.
Getting Stuck in Learning Mode
Research and analysis is an essential part of the implementation process. Skipping this step can lead to a whole lot of problems that will cost you time and money. The only problem is, it is really easy to get stuck in perpetual learning and never complete the implementation process.
This phenomenon is referred to as Analysis Paralysis. To quote good ole Wikipedia,
Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Time spent in research mode trying to learn every detail, every possible outcome, or how to make your project perfect, may seem like due diligence, BUT spend too much time and you are only procrastinating.
So, how do you know when it is time to stop learning and start taking action? Frankly, you should start before you think you are ready. You don’t have to be an expert – just have a good understanding and are familiar with where to refer to information if you have questions. Once you have that in place, you are ready to start!
Steps for Transitioning into Action Mode
Taking action and knowing where to start doesn’t come easily for every project. If you are stuck, here are some steps to take to get moving in the right direction:
1. Give yourself a deadline
I hate to say it, but without a deadline, your project isn’t getting done. It is just going to sit on your to do list, gathering dust. So, set a due date. Once you have it set, work backwards to figure out when you need to complete the action steps in order to meet your deadline. Write out each target date on the calendar and schedule reminders.
2. Block off time to work on your project
The number one response I get when I ask my clients why they aren’t completing their projects is “I don’t have time to work on them.” or “I’ve been too busy.” But, what they are really saying is they haven’t prioritized time for it on their schedule.
The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. -Steven R. Covey
If you are working tasks day-to-day, your time will fill up before you get to your project. Make it a priority and schedule out time blocks to coincide with your due dates. Your tasks can wait. I promise.
3. Create a short list of achievable action items
Now that you’ve blocked out some time, make a short list of things you KNOW you can accomplish during this time. Don’t try to over do it here. The idea is to set yourself up for success and feeling accomplished.
4. Check off your list and be proud of yourself
Do you love checking off completed tasks as much as I do? Then this will be your favorite step. Work your list and check those puppies off! Then, take a minute to feel proud — to feel accomplished. Give yourself a high-five and pour a glass of wine. You totally deserve it.
5. Get the support you need to be successful
If you are struggling, do a quick self-assessment to determine where you are having a hard time. Are you having trouble getting organized? Are you struggling to juggle your workload? Are you lacking in the accountability department? Whatever the challenge, there is someone out there who can help.
As an implementation strategist, I help my clients with things like organization, strategy, implementation and accountability through both coaching and project management. I help them set deadlines and create their timeline. I help them figure out the actions steps they need to complete to finish their project. I send them reminders and follow up on the tasks, or I can do the whole thing for them.
Other support might include a virtual assistant, a social media manager, or graphic designer. Plus there are people that specialize in just about every niche you can imagine.
Never Stop Learning
Just because you are ready to take some action doesn’t mean you should give up on learning. Learning, researching and gathering information is ongoing through any project — and life in general. Just don’t let learning keep you from taking action.
Are you ready for action?
The difference between having and idea and making it come to life is having an achievable implementation strategy. You can have your very own strategy in as little as two hours when you schedule a one-on-one session with me. Just click the button below to learn how you can start making things happen.