As someone who loves to research and make plans, I have a hard time implementing said plans. You see, it’s a whole lot easier to research, read, learn and plan than it is to actually do the work.
Why is this the case for so many of us? Why do we spend so much time consuming content, either from podcasts, YouTube videos, online courses, or TED talks but then when it comes time to do the work we feel paralyzed? I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I have a stack of online courses that I’ve half gone through only to abandon to research another topic.
I’m now committed to not enroll into any more courses and I’m finally learning how to start implementing the ridiculous amounts of research I have done.
I hope these tips help you get out of research mode and into action mode. Let’s get to it!
Remember your why:
There’s a reason why you wanted to start that project in the first place and now’s the time to sit down, get quiet, and remember that why.
Your why is there to push you when things get tough. When you want to give up. When you’re feeling low and like you can’t keep going.
It’s also the reason why you need to do the work instead of research and plan for the work.
Did you start your project to have a flexible schedule? Does the project bring you immense joy and / or solves a problem? Are there monetary goals you’d like to hit to serve a bigger purpose?
Whatever the reason is for your project, identify it. Write it on a post-it note. Set a timer to remind you every day. This will help you stop researching and start doing. You need to take action so you can achieve your goals.
Limit your fact-finding time:
Many of us could research until we reach the end of the internet.
That’s all well and good but if you aren’t doing anything with that information it’s not that valuable to you. A key step I’ve found in how to stop researching and start doing is to limit my fact-finding time.
You can limit your time in multiple ways:
Set a timer for yourself when researching for an upcoming project.
Block out specific times in your calendar when you’ll be researching.
Commit to learning one thing from one source at a time.
The point is to be persistent about whichever path you choose. Remember, researching is great but only up until a certain point. We want to move toward our goals and to do so means we need to do the work to get there!
Set a deadline for yourself:
Nothing makes me move faster than a deadline! To truly learn how to stop researching and start doing, you’ve got to set deadlines for yourself.
These deadlines are commitments to your original goals for your project. You should want to adhere to these deadlines because they directly correlate with your ultimate goals.
Sometimes I even like to announce things to our email list or social media to have clients (and friends) hold us accountable.
We like to give ourselves a deadline when we’re creating new content or a service offering. It helps us stay motivated and focused, while not letting perfectionism hold us back.
Do whatever works to motivate you!
Set small, achievable goals:
When you’ve got big goals it can be hard to stay motivated.
I’m sure many of you out there have goals so big they might take years to achieve. To that, we say, bravo! Keep at it!
But with goals so big it can be easy to fall into planning mode and never execute. A game changer for me has been to set small, achievable goals for myself.
We like to break our projects up into 90-day chunks. This helps us break up our big goals into smaller, more achievable goals which seems a whole lot less daunting.
Get an accountability partner:
The final step to stop researching and start doing is to get an accountability partner.
The best motivation is to be accountable to somebody else. Getting an accountability partner will help you not only stay accountable to someone else but also to yourself.
Remember, no one is pushing these goals onto you. These are the goals that you set out to achieve. You want to make these goals become a reality. Your accountability buddy is just there to support you along the way!
I hope these tips help you get out of research mode and into action mode.
I think a big reason why I never want to move out of the research phase is that I’m too afraid of “making a mistake.”
But making mistakes and taking chances helps you grow as a person and isn’t that what we’re all here to do? Continuously improving ourselves, day after day?
Challenge yourself by committing to making mistakes so we can learn from them.