Just Do It All

November 01, 2012 by John Andrew Williams

Consider a thought experiment. 

What would it feel like to have every task completed, every email answered, and every drawer completely organized? 

You know, like going to your grandparent’s house and realizing that everything is totally spotless so that getting around to small tasks becomes one of a few past times available. 

I gave myself a year to accomplish the “Just Do it All task.  That was nearly two years ago.  It was my 2011 New Year’s Resolution.  

Armed with the idea that I could create systems and just bust things out, I believed that I would eventually reach a Nirvana-state of “Just Did It All.”  I imagined that angels would sing and I would float around feeling light as air, achieving an “enlightenment” equivalent to a Puritan’s all-of-my-work-is-accomplished-and-everything-is-perfect state of being. 

I tried really hard in the first three months of 2011.   Around March, I realized that I had set myself an unachievable task.  Around November, I got fired up again and got closer, but by then my email inbox blew up to over 700 messages and I was totally swamped. 

I realized that most of the time, fear got in my way.  My thought process goes something like this: 

  1. Sweet!  Someone just sent me an email who is interested in being trained as a Life Coach.  
  2. I want to respond to them immediately!
  3. What’s the best email/response I can send? 
  4. Oh, no, what if I mess it up? 
  5. I’ll think about it for a day, then I’ll send it tomorrow. 

Underneath it all was a fear that I wasn’t going to have this person signup for my coaching class.  

The thought process gets repeated in various forms, but underneath the big, important tasks, I’ve become aware of this lurking fear.  The “Just Do It All” project helps me address the fear. 

The other obstacle – and ultimately more problematic in terms of the resolution – is that there are a massive number of things to do.

I’m starting to come to terms that I’ll probably have to wait until I’m older to cross this massive resolution off the list, if I ever do.  Maybe by the time I’m a grandparent?

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