When you let go of the "should", the "want to" may arise

I wrote about Getting Things Done last week. Since then, I've had a related experience - twice - that I need to share with you.

I've been having a side project to create an iOS app for calculating numerology with my friend and numerologist, Allberte. It started with my online numerology calculator, and it grew into talks about an app, and immediately my mind started thinking about what an app might do, and how to do it, and so on.

Yet, as the weeks went on and I did nothing about it, it was clear that my energy wasn't really there. It made more sense for me to focus on my main business, Simplero. So I told my friend that, hey, I didn't have the bandwidth at the moment.

What happened next surprised me: I immediately found the desire to do something about it.

I've been wanting to learn to develop for iOS for a while, but the ugliness of Objective-C has held me back. God, it's ugly. But that changed this summer, when Apple announced Swift, a brand-new first-class programming language for iOS, and a new version of Xcode to go with it. 

Now that I'd let go of the "should"of creating an app with my friend, I opened up Xcode and got to work over the weekend. Phoebe was out with a friend Friday night, so it was a great opportunity to do some hobbies like playing the piano, singing, and learning a new programming language and development framework.

Then it happened again

This week's focus for Simplero is onboarding: The content and features we do to help new customers get a thriving business on Simplero as quickly as possible. As I was starting on this project Monday, it just wasn't happening for me. I'd do it, but I didn't feel the energy.

Finally I let myself off the hook. No matter. If I get some other stuff done, or even just play some more with my new iOS app, it's going to be a day well spent. We'll want an iOS app for Simplero at some point, so learning the ropes now will be well worth the investment of time.

A few moments after I gave myself permission to just do what I felt like, I started to feel like doing onboarding, and I had a really productive day on that.

The discipline: Getting over the humps

I think it's important to make myself do things sometimes. There are projects that I just didn't want to do, that i dreaded doing for a long time, that, once I got into them, I really enjoyed them, and they're really important, and I'm really grateful that I did them. Our new marketing site is an example of that.

I often find that for new projects, there's an initial hump that I have to get over, after which excitement takes over, and then there's a final hump or push that needs to happen in order to get it to full completion.

We want to discipline ourselves to get over those humps.

I find that the best way is to set aside a large chunk of free time with the name of the task on it. "Okay, today I'm just going to do onboarding." If you actually spend the time on it, you will start to get traction, and chances are it's going to be fun then.

If that's not happening, then you need to reexamine. Perhaps there are some other things you need to clear out of the way first, and then you give it another shot?

If it's still not happening, reconsider whether it really is important. If it is, investigate your resistance. See if you can find something to enjoy about it. Or maybe you can outsource it? Or find some other way to achieve the same objective. Talk to your coach about it. Let it sit for a few days while you do something fun. But keep at it, until you get to that point where you enjoy it, or at least get it done.

Ultimately, the big projects in life shouldn't have to be forced. As my astrologer wrote the other day:

"Nothing should be forced, in fact if it is meant to happen, it will happen with surprising ease"

I agree with that.

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