Why Can’t I Get More Stuff Done?

to do list

“Why can’t I get more stuff done?”

Or maybe, “Why is *insert task* taking so long?”, “Where did my day go?”, and “How am I not done with *insert task* yet?”

These questions might seem different, but the underlying mindset behind them is usually the same. If you’re asking yourself any or all of the questions above, you might be too focused on making sure that everything is “perfect.”

You aren’t alone in this struggle. Whether it’s reading over a short text 10 times before hitting send or waiting until the last second to start that essay, I too find myself taking ages to perfect something or waiting for the “perfect moment” to start doing something.

In almost every single school, whether public, private, or charter, teenagers are taught that everything has to be completely right on the first try. You can’t retake a test to try to score better, so it’s no surprise that teenagers and young adults today strive for total perfection on the first try. They’re afraid to do something “wrong,” even if they do have the ability to go back and fix it later.

Sometimes, you just have to start. Start without worrying about all the little things, or waiting until you have more resources or more time.

I wrote pieces of the first draft of this post on the iPhone notes app in a hotel room almost 3,000 miles away from home. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Don’t let the fear of failure or of not getting it right the first time hold you back.

There are times when you don’t want to write the paper because it feels boring and pointless, which is a completely different story (one that’s way too familiar for any high school or college student). But if you find yourself putting off the things that you really, truly want to do, it might be time to stop worrying about perfection or waiting for the right moment.

What have you been stuck on lately?

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