Being Aware of Mental Roadblocks is the First Step to Overcoming Them

Stop Overthinking Things and Do Something

Last week we discussed learning as a form of procrastination. Too often, time is spent learning rather than doing. There’s less risk with learning. Doing is scary. What if I do it and nobody likes, it, needs it or wants it?

Overthinking things is a form of procrastination

Clarity of your goals and the best way to get there is hard to know. There are so many great and important things that I want to do, how can I know which ones to do?

“The person who chases two rabbits catches neither.” This proverb is a great illustration of a lack of focus. Achieving your goals is like chasing rabbits…often way more than just two.

I don’t know how many rabbits you’ve actually chased, but trust me they’re hard to catch. Rabbits seldom run in a straight line despite being pretty quick, they change direction often to throw off their pursuer. In order to catch one, you need to follow its every move if you are to have a chance.

Our goals are a lot like rabbits…they run fast and keep changing direction.

Being clear about where you want to go is the first step to achieving your goals. I’ve always been an overthinker. I naturally spend a lot of time thinking about things. Which thing should I do first? Is it the right thing to do? What’s it going to take to get it done? Do I have time to do it right now? Should I wait and do it later.

Determine which rabbit is the most important and chase that one first.

The opposite of overthinking is diving in without thinking. This can be a problem too. Diving in without any consideration or planning can lead to a bad outcome as well. It’s a good idea to know the depth of the water before you jump.

Finding the balance of these two things is the key. Somewhere between overthinking and not thinking.

There have been a lot of times when I have dreaded starting some project because I thought it was going to be too hard or take too long. Then after it was done…the actual doing was way easier than it was in the thinking version.

Thinking is like learning. There’s less risk with thinking.

The way to deal with overthinking is to think. I know this sounds backwards, but you need to spend some time thinking about it so that you know how to be prepared to handle it before it happens.

Be clear about who you are. What your tendencies are. What things you like doing. What are the things that are most important for you to accomplish your purpose?

Get clear on these things and then be intentional about focusing intensely on the most important things first. If you’ve thought about it ahead of time you will be way better prepared when you need to make decisions.

The problem with overthinking is in the “over” part.

Overthinking is a roadblock to productivity, but it doesn’t have to be if you avoid the “over” part.

How to Determine If Someone’s Trash Can Be Your Treasure

What’s the Purpose for Your Re-purpose

Recently my web and social media coordinator, Stacey, gave me a list of questions from her husband, Daniel. One of them was “repurposing ideas?”. I am assuming that he is asking about some specific ideas and that list would be pretty long.

So, this answer may not be exactly what he was looking for, but more of a reasoning and thought process. I hope it will give him and you some direction when you are considering repurposing.

Repurposing is currently a popular trendy topic. Not that there is anything at all wrong with repurposing. On the contrary it can be a frugal and thrifty way to be good stewards. This kind of thing has been done since the beginning of civilization. Cavemen didn’t just go down to the store and pick up a hammer. They made one out of repurposed sticks, rocks and leather.

I grew up repurposing, before it had a cool name like that. I remember as a kid setting on the concrete step of the barn straightening bent nails that had been pulled out of used boards. We had cans full of them and when doing a new project, we would repurpose them.

Repurposing ideas are as big as your imagination. The internet is full of ideas that range from using discarded toilet paper tubes for storing cables and cords to using old picture frame corners to tile a ceiling or using old bathtubs for furniture and a grand piano for an outdoor fountain. Some of these ideas are simple and easy to do, some, not so much.

 

To find the answer to your specific repurposing questions, ask WHY, WHAT, HOW. These questions will be as wide ranging as your imagination. For Example:

  • Why do you want to use something designed for one thing for something else?
  • What is the intended outcome?
  • What is the cost going to be?
  • How is it going to be achieved?
  • How much time is it going to take? 

Old wringer washer, going to become a laundry sink

 

The answers are where you separate the realistic from the unrealistic.

  • Everybody is doing it
  • Saves money, less expensive than buying
  • Improved use of original idea
  • Better than throwing it away, not being wasteful
  • Currently not being used, just sitting around and taking up space
  • Physically not going to work
  • Too costly
  • Don’t have the time needed
  • Don’t have the skill or ability
  • Historical or sentimental value
  • The finished product “cool factor” is worth it

A couple months ago I wrote about turning used grain bins into a home. This is a sizable repurposing project. When considering this project these questions and more have been and are being answered. This project is going to be a big repurpose full of smaller repurposes.

I told you that I would be sharing the project as it moves forward. We have met a couple of times and reviewed design ideas. I have set up an online project notebook in OneNote and Hannah has listed product thoughts and idea links. This is the current elevation and floor plan drawings. Sign up for our weekly solutions for more construction and repurposing ideas.

 

Repurposing is a great solution in many situations, but don’t do it just because someone else is doing it. Have a clear purpose for your repurpose.

Let me know if you have some specific repurpose questions or share your repurposed projects in the comments below.