Just Do It

April 27, 2023
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Home 9 +Good Newsletter 9 Just Do It

I’m big on work philosophies. Guiding principles. Little phrases I can repeat to myself on a weekly (ok, daily) basis to remind myself what’s true. And while my list changes fairly often, there are a few that always seem to make the cut: 

For those unfamiliar, “eating the frog” was introduced by Brian Tracy in his book, Eat That Frog!—and the premise is simple: You find a big, hairy, must-do task (hello, frog) and do it first. Basically, eating a frog will always be tough—so you might as well get it out of the way. 

The idea echoes countless other thinkers who have all boiled down their productivity advice to basically this: When you have something you need to do, just sit down and do it. 

It’s Anne Lamott’s famous “butt in chair.” 

It’s Jerry Seinfeld’s “Seinfeld Strategy.”

It’s Hemingway (or Khaled Hosseini or Haruki Murakami) writing every morning. 

It’s simply doing the thing. 

It’s brilliant.

And so hard.

It also happens to be exactly how this newsletter gets produced each week. When we decided to bring back +good about a month ago, we made a commitment to return to weekly sends. So with James Clear’s Atomic Habits advice spinning in my head (Clear is another advocate of daily writing, btw), I built crafting an intro into my week. And here’s how it goes…

The deadline approaches, and I need to write. So I do. Inspired or not, I put pen to paper (ok, fingers to keyboard) and I ruminate on whatever it is our team is pondering that week. 

Sometimes, I end up with something profound. Often, I end up with something okay. But do you know what I always end up with? Something. 

Like one of my favorite fiction authors, Jodi Picoult, once said: 

Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.

You can’t edit a blank page—you need to start somewhere. So start. Do the thing. 

Whatever your “thing” is. 

Maybe it’s a report. Or a spreadsheet. Or setting up that doctor’s appointment. (Side note: If you are a millennial and have not read Anne Helen Petersen’s incredible piece on Millennial Burnout, add it to your list. It explains so much of why even the most insignificant task—like calling the doctor’s office—can feel insurmountable.) Maybe you need to write an essay, just like I do. 

Find the thing that’s been on your list for way too long (and taking up way too much mental real estate), and just do it

Ready. Set. Go.

Allison Kooser

Allison is Chief Storyteller at Swell+Good, where she partners with amazing organizations to help them bring their stories to life. She is an avid traveler, an expert takeout orderer, and a big believer in curiosity and kindness. She tries to learn something new every day, and she reads, writes, and paddleboards more than the average human.
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