Overcoming The Fear Of Starting A New Project

Welcome to our Productivity Tip of the Day, where we summarize the best articles from across the web, and extract the key tips and tricks that will help your productivity.

The Important Habit of Just Starting
by Jory Mackay (@JoryMacKay)

Key Takeaway: Around 95% of people procrastinate. Most fear starting a project because they overestimate the chances of failure, while underestimating the rewards. Thankfully, there are proven ways to get over this fear and develop the important habit of starting.

Tips & Tricks:
Why do we have a fear of starting something new?

  1. We have ‘temporal myopia’ or an inability to see into our future. There’s an emotional disconnect between you as you are now and you in the future.
  2. We have not developed a strong will and the ability to delay gratification, especially in a world where impulsiveness is the norm. Our brains value immediate rewards over potential future rewards.
  3. Success involves long hours of hard work and isn’t guaranteed.

How do we overcome the fear of starting?

  1. Use the Zeigarnik Effect which kicks in when you are close to finishing a task. Once you reach this threshold, you are propelled to finish what you are doing.
  2. Use a commitment device to prevent negative behaviors from creeping in. One example is working without a charger so that you’re forced to finish before your battery runs out.
  3. Create the right environment, such as an insulated workspace without any potential distractions.Get over the paralyzation of perfection. Think of projects as experiments instead of masterpieces.
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