| | Action
This is an issue I struggle with daily. For me, I think it is a form of procrastination, and is also part of my personality. When I don't feel like doing something, I read or surf the net. It makes me feel like I am bettering myself (and hopefully I am), even though I should really be doing something. One of the enlightening moments related to this occurred when I went to a leadership conference at work. We took a personality test, which I have done before, and as before, came out as an INTP. One of the traits of this personality type is that I like to figure things out and learn things, but get bored once I figure them out. This helps explain why I design new projects for my woodworking hobby but rarely complete them, why I write business plans but rarely implement them, etc.
It is frustrating for me to have many ideas and many tasks that need to get done, but to not act on them. Part of it, I believe, is wanting to make sure I am optimizing my time. In the process of figuring out what to do, I "waste" time by analyzing which task is most appropriate to complete. In my most productive days, I refer to my next action list and projects list (GTD disciple - but that is another post), pick something and do it. One of the books I am reading now is Maltz's Psycho-Cybernetics. One of the key principles is that you set a course, go, course correct, go some more, course correct...My takeaway from this is that it is not important to have the perfect plan, or even an optimized plan, but rather to have A plan and act on it with the knowledge that I will refine the plan as I go. This is also a key principle in Paul Graham's writings on start-up companies.
As I said at the start, this is a daily struggle for me. Some days are good and some leave me feeling as if not much, if anything was accomplished. For me, it is very important to keep focused (tough to do with lots of ideas) with my "eyes on the prize" (goals). I do well when I refer to my goals daily, but this is something I have not had the discipline to do over an extended period of time.