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The Single Most Important Productivity Tip

Just Do It - NOW!

Just do it now, even if it is messy and can always go back and edit or change. Just simply getting started, pushes you through the inertia and helps you achieve more energy, more creativity and become more productive.

Here is an example of how that worked for Vincent van Gogh from 99U:

On Think Jar Collective, creativity author Michael Michalko examines the work ethic of artist Vincent van Gogh. He persistently labored on his craft every single day; creating over 2000 sketches and paintings within a decade. He understood that improving your skills through hard work furthered your ability more than having talent and not employing it. Here are the key lessons Michalko learned from van Gogh:
  1. Get started: Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. “Just slap anything on when you see a blank canvas staring you in the face like some imbecile,” said van Gogh. 
  2. Do the work: Commit to your goals and go through the motions to achieve it – whether the outcome is good or bad. Vincent van Gogh believed if you do nothing, you are nothing. 
  3. Work for yourself: The longer you work and figure things out for yourself, the more active your brain becomes. An active brain is a more creative brain. 
Vincent van Gogh did not resolve to become an artist until his late twenties. His cousin, a successful artist, even suggested van Gogh choose a different profession because he possessed no natural talent. It was through sheer work and perseverance that he became the artist that we know him as today.

(ht: 99U)


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