Make the most of every day

How to Avoid Analysis Paralysis and Get It Done


Every day I receive an email with a Pāli Word a Day. This email has become a lovely reminder to stop for just a few seconds to consider an idea. It’s a little freaky how often the word directly relates to something I need to hear.

Today the Pāli word is akampita — that which does not tremble.

Some days I just get overwhelmed. There are so many things I want to accomplish. What freezes me in my tracks are the things I need to accomplish.

In an email to a group of my girlfriends, I chatted about my leap of faith into this new career of freelance writing. I’ve switched out my high heels, suits and office world for yoga pants, a home office and the uncertainty of the freelance writers’ world. (The 60-hour work weeks will, I expect, not change!)

A big part of this change is the learning curve. I feel confident enough about my writing skills to call myself a writer. What keeps me awake at night is what I know I don’t know. (Let’s not even talk about what I don’t know I don’t know!) And what keeps me paralyzed from making any real progress in learning what I need to know are the many, many options for professional development.

There are a lot of bright people in this world and lately, it feels like most of them have blogs and e-books and online courses to help me learn what they know. I would be happy to spend all day just reading what they have to say! But I need to get something accomplished, something finished. And I’m not. And that’s what’s making me tremble these days.

So how do I achieve akampita?

By writing it down.

I know, pretty obvious, right?  But I’ve learned it’s true.  What they say about spending a little time every morning to decide what the most important tasks of the day will be is helping me immensely. (They = the great collective body of  authors of the pithy sayings printed on fridge magnets and written in self-help books.)

If you like to print out motivational messages here’s my humble offering. The sentiment isn’t mine but I believe it anyway.

One great tip to make every day a good one. Gift of


My challenge to you is to take a few minutes every morning to think what what you really want to accomplish that day.  It could be “cure cancer” or it could be “take a shower”. (In my world we don’t judge.)

Make a note, preferably somewhere where you’ll see it several times during the day. I find the mirror in the bathroom outside my office works well.

Write it down.

Do it.

And go to sleep at night knowing you’ve accomplished something important.

Do you write you your MIMD (Most Important Must Do) every day? Does it help? Let me know tricks you use to get things done!



2 thoughts on “How to Avoid Analysis Paralysis and Get It Done”

  1. What a great word! I definitely agree with writing it down, but I’ve realised that lists need to be achievable.

    We have a weekly planner with a ‘to do’ list on that I transcribed faithfully every week (as only one or two jobs ever got crossed off and you could bet more were added). This week I transcribed three things – two of which are now complete. The other things I have done are: bought and changed the kitchen light bulb, packaged and sent parcels of letters back to their authors, put my coat in for dry cleaning, sent my driving licence off to be renewed and purchased shoe dye to change a pair of shoes from yellow to brown. They were all ‘jobs’ written on previous lists that were clearly in my head, but by not writing them down it gave me freedom to actually achieve the important stuff and feel amazing about having done so much more!

    1. Thanks Catherine and congratulations on getting some of the things on that written list crossed off! My list for this week, aside from the usual, includes getting a better deal for my cell phone and hemming my new jeans. If I can get those out of the way I’ll feel much lighter!

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