How much time do you spend reading articles and watching videos versus actually implementing the concepts in them? I’m guessing it’s more than you realize. I have a challenge that will help you break the cycle of inertia and start getting actual results.

Are you stuck in the never-ending cycle of “I need to know more in order to take action?” Do you experience analysis paralysis every time you try to implement a new concept?

If so, you’re in good company. Most managers have struggled with this issue at one point or another. Let’s talk about how to get unstuck and take action that leads to real results.

It’s easy to slip into “study” mode instead of “doing” mode – here’s the catch:
You learn far more by doing than you can ever learn by studying.

Studying is great, and there’s definitely a place for it, but I can tell you from my own experience that it often acts like a security blanket.

Imagine trying to learn how to ride a bike only by watching videos and reading books. Sure, you might find a few things that are helpful. But there’s no way you’re going to learn how to ride that bike until you actually get in the bike seat and start pedaling.

Are you going to fall over? Yes, and that’s kind of the point! We learn when we’re in motion.

Isn’t it funny how we don’t judge kids for falling off bikes, yet we somehow have this idea that when it comes to improvement initiatives, there’s no excuse for making mistakes. No wonder we stay stuck in “study” mode!

But of course, overcoming fear is easier said than done. Here’s a simple three-step process that will help you cross that invisible barrier:

1. Recognize that you’re stuck in “study” mode. You can’t solve a problem until you admit there’s a problem in the first place.

Where is your time going? How much of it is spent reading articles and watching videos versus actually implementing the concepts in them? My guess is that you’re in “study” mode way more often than you realize.

At a minimum, you should be spending 50% of your time in “doing” mode, with the other 50% in “study” mode.

And I have a challenge for you:

Your objective for next week is to ask yourself every day, “How much did I learn and how much should I do?” If you’ve studied for an hour, make sure you spend another hour actually doing stuff, so that you reach your 50-50 goal.

2. Break the cycle of beating yourself up because you haven’t gotten started already. Tell me if this sounds familiar: you know you need to take action, but you simply don’t. You procrastinate, which leads to feeling bad about not taking action. You beat yourself up and procrastinate even further.

Here’s how to change the conversation with yourself to break that cycle. Tell yourself the following story until it becomes real for you:

“I’m in control. When I’m in the process of learning, I’m intentional, I’m learning on purpose. I can’t let learning get in the way of doing. Now, it’s time to stop learning and start doing.”

3. Take 10 minutes a day to perform one small action. That’s it. That’s all there is to it: put a reminder on your calendar so that you don’t forget to complete one small action each day, based on what you’ve studied. This is the simplest way to go from “studying” to “doing” on a daily basis.

Here’s an action item you can do right now that will take you from “studying” to “doing”:

Go ahead and pick an article from the Nave blog (any topic that grabs you, it doesn’t matter which one). Each article ends with an action item: once you’ve finished reading, make sure you follow through with the action item! Let me know which one you’ve chosen – I’m on LinkedIn, so send me a DM and tell me how it’s going.

I strongly believe you’ll discover pretty quickly that doing is a faster way to learn than studying, and it’s not so scary once you make a habit of it.

Thanks for spending time with me today, and be sure to share this article with someone you know who is also stuck in “study” mode. I’m excited to tune in with you on Thursday, same time and place, for more action-packed managerial insights. Bye for now!

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