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I don’t work for Nike BUT…

…there is no better slogan than theirs. Just do It. Don’t overthink something. You got something to do? Do it. Don’t fuck around.

My wife told me yesterday that I’ve helped her get more things done lately. Things in the past that she’d procrastinate over, put off, do pieces and bits of, and then maybe eventually do them. She might’ve got that from me, but I got it from Monica Jacobs. She’s my American mom.

I met Monica and her family through Couchsurfing, when I had nowhere to live in San Diego, California. Monica recently flew all the way out to Australia for my wedding and she told us when she was here, ‘I am the Nike slogan’.

In the past when I had to do, something annoying, some chore, or something important that needed to be done asap, I’d talk about it, then maybe moan about it, complain about it, and then say I’ll do it later, do it tomorrow, or do it next week. Monica never even gets to the 1st step of that whole demented process.

It was late at night, back in 2013, and we were sitting around with the family at her home, which is as far south East in the US you can get (you can see Tijuana from their backyard). I asked her what she’s doing tomorrow. She told me she had to paint the front door, or put together a massive cabinet. I forget what she had to do exactly, but I remember it was a big job. The next morning, after I had had a shower, had breakfast, chilled out a bit, I asked her, ‘So, when do you want to put that cabinet together?’

‘It’s done already.’

And that’s how Monica lives life. Before she even gets to the point of complaining that ‘Ugh… it’s a massive job’ or ‘I really can’t be bothered,’ or ‘I’ll just do it tomorrow’, she pulls the trigger. She starts. She just does it. Before you know it, she’s doing it. And not long after that, it’s done. All before you let your mind come up with all the reasons why not to do something and psyche yourself out of doing it. If you just jump in and start, by the time you can even think about convince yourself and rationalise why you shouldn’t do, it’s easier to just keep going than to stop. And soon you’ll have done it.

There’s this thought that Tim Ferriss remembers when he’s facing up to his to-do list for the day:

‘What’s the one thing I could do that would make all the other stuff irrelevant?’

When you face up to your to-do list and take on the most annoying, the most painful, or the most uncomfortable (which often means ‘most important’) first, not only do you feel like you defeated Goliath when you’re done, but all the other stuff becomes easy. It gives you momentum. And sometimes the other stuff even becomes irrelevant.