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Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

If you’re struggling to get started, do it badly

“Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.”

Alain de Botton

Perfection is the antithesis of inspiration — it prevents you from getting started.

The trick to getting going is to do it badly. That’s right: Be intentionally messy.

Producing crap isn’t the end-goal. The point of taking small actions is to create enough momentum to feel like we’re winning.

What sustains persistence are small improvements. You’re looking to go from one pushup a day to two the next week. You’re trying to walk five thousand steps a day before graduating to six thousand.

You’ll need to write one-hundred words day after day before developing the muscle to get down two-hundred words on a consistent basis. By the way, there is no such thing as writer’s block!

Do small things to get started — no matter how poorly — to avoid second-guessing yourself and to prime the motivational pump.


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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of four books.

7 replies on “If you’re struggling to get started, do it badly”

I think, with this advice, one can accomplish absolutely anything. The idea of embracing Imperfection has changed my entire outlook on ambition. I love this post.

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