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Just Do It!
By Bob Bapes   Printer Friendly Version

Creativity is important, but means nothing if you don't take action on your ideas. Innovation is the act of implementing your creative ideas.

One of the biggest barriers to taking action is procrastination.

When I press them, everyone admits to procrastination. Two key reasons why we do are fear and perfectionism.

We have many fears. We fear failure and sometimes success. We fear looking foolish. So we fail to take action on our ideas. They just sit there because we're afraid they will not work. Sometimes we wait so long that someone else beats us to the market.

Putting our ideas into action is scary. I'm reminded of one of the opening scenes from "Raiders of the Lost Arc," where Indiana Jones is being chased by that big bolder. A project to get our ideas launched often looks like that bolder to us and we are frozen in place, like a deer caught in the headlights.

A most effective way to get your ideas into action is to use one of the tools of project management, the "Work Breakdown Structure." This tool will help get you into action. This tool takes the whole project, which can look huge (i.e., put a man on the moon and return him to earth safely), and breaks it into smaller chunks that you can get your mind around (keep a man alive in space for three weeks).

What you are doing is using Newton's laws of motion to change yourself from a body at rest (procrastinating) to a body in motion (working on the project). The hardest part of a project is taking the first step. Once we take it, following steps come easier.

The other cause of procrastination is perfectionism. Some of my more technical associates are afflicted with this problem. They think there is always a little more "tweaking" to do with the idea. "It isn't ready yet," they think. And they wait and tinker and wait and tinker until someone else beats them to the market. A good way to overcome perfectionism is to focus on how much utility the last little increment of tinkering is providing. If it is small, stop and implement. You will learn much more from the implementation than from any tinkering.

Face it, your idea may or may not work. But I guarantee it will not work, if you don't even try. Nike has it right...Just Do It!

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