Bloop Global

Stop overthinking. Get to work

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Hey, you! Yes, YOU. We’ve noticed that you’re spending a lot of time thinking about content strategy. And we get it. It’s a tricky thing to pull off. But here’s the thing: you are not going to get anywhere until you just buckle down and write something.

Overthinking can be a huge problem. It can keep you from making progress in your life and your career. You can’t do the important things in life if you spend too much time thinking about what to do instead of just doing them.

Have goals. Write them down. Create a plan for how to achieve those goals and break it down into steps. Then start working on the first step. The next step will come soon enough, but for now, focus on the goal and first step.

I’m here to tell you that by now, you probably know what to do. So stop overthinking it and get to work.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, how long have you been thinking about it? And how much work have you done? If your answer is “a lot,” good for you! You’re on the right track. If your answer is “not much” or “none at all,” then it’s time to take action.

Have goals. Write them down. Create a plan for how to achieve those goals and break it down into steps. Then start working on the first step. The next step will come soon enough, but for now, focus on the goal and first step.

Eventually, when that second step comes along, it’ll seem obvious what to do next because you’ve been working toward achieving the goal for so long now that the second step was always going to be there anyway — no matter what else happened in between point A (starting your plan) and point B (reaching your goal).

The key to getting what you want is taking action.

I used to think the opposite was true, that if I just planned hard enough, for long enough, then I’d be able to get the results I wanted without having to actually do anything. But boy, was I wrong.

As it turns out, all that planning was just a way of hiding from the fact that I was scared — scared of failure and of not being “good enough.” The more time I spent planning, the more time I had to let these fears build up inside me. And the longer they sat there, the bigger they seemed. A huge part of me started to feel like there was no way I would ever be able to do anything right.

So yeah… all that “planning” wasn’t really doing much for me at all. Instead, it was holding me back and keeping me from taking action on my ideas and goals.

It’s not uncommon to get stuck in the planning phase of a project. Whether you’re starting a blog, taking on freelance work, or launching your own business, you may find yourself wanting to do all the research, reading, and organizing before you actually get started.

But here’s the thing: there is no perfect time to begin something.

There will always be one more book to read, one more thing to research, or one more piece of advice that could help you plan better. You could spend months planning and never actually start doing what you’ve been planning to do. The longer you wait, the less likely it becomes that you’ll ever follow through with your plans.

That’s why it’s so important that you just jump in already. Don’t worry about being ready — you never will be. Instead, just set aside enough time for some basic research and strategy building, then sit down and get to work. You can make mistakes along the way — but even if they cost you time and money in the short term (and they likely will), they’ll teach you valuable lessons that can help improve your project and get it back on track again.

And who knows? Maybe those mistakes will even teach you something about yourself and the world around you.

Overthinking is an easy trap to fall into:

You want to make sure you’ve got everything just right. You want to be sure that you pick the best strategy, and the best tone, and you want to make sure that your content is appealing to all of your diverse readers.

So you end up spending more time thinking than doing — and accomplishing nothing.

When it comes to content creation, overthinking is a common affliction. It’s also a major obstacle in the way of actually creating anything.

You can’t get what you want without taking action — and too much planning can keep you from getting the ball rolling.

If you’re stuck in this cycle, here are some ways to break free:

  1. Break it down into smaller steps. Instead of considering your entire content strategy at once, think about it as one massive document — or one massive blog post or article at a time. Make sure that each piece of content has its own specific goal and is working toward your overall goals for the project as a whole.
  2. Set a timer for 20 minutes! Force yourself to stop thinking about your content and just write something, anything. You can always edit and rewrite later, but generating some raw material will help kick-start your flow and send your creativity into overdrive.
  3. Try brainstorming with someone else. A fresh perspective can really help you get that ball rolling — and talking through an idea out loud can make it clearer in your own mind.
  4. Outline it all on paper! Create an outline that breaks down your content strategy into different sections or topics; then flesh out those sections by focusing on one topic at a time until they’re complete.
  5. Remind yourself why you want what you want in the first place — that’s going to keep your focus where it belongs: on your goals. What vision do you have of your future that gets you excited? Go back to that and remind yourself what kind of impact having what you want will have on your life. What will your life be like then? How will it be different from now? Imagine how good it’s going to feel when you finally get there — and then go for it!
  6. Celebrate the little successes, because these are the moments that are going to motivate you to keep going for more.

There are two ways to live life: You can either wait for what you want to be handed to you or you can go out and grab it.

Too much planning can keep you from taking action. And too much worry about the future can prevent you from living in the present and enjoying your life right now.

So how do you balance forward momentum with getting caught up in never-ending planning?

Planning is important, but only if it helps get you closer to your desired outcome. If it’s not helping, cut it out.

If you keep an open mind and a sense of adventure, you’re more likely to take advantage of opportunities when they arise — rather than over-planning and missing out on them entirely.

If you’re working on something that’s not going well, don’t be afraid to change course! Because the truth is, if you’re not failing sometimes…you’re probably not trying hard enough.

First published on Medium

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