A few weeks ago, I finally finished building a feature for one of our apps that I've been putting off for weeks.
I've been procrastinating because the problem seemed complex and just not that interesting to work on, even though it feels important and could potentially increase our conversion rate. Then one day, while sitting in a coffee shop and just about to wrap up for the day, I decided to just pick up a pen and paper and figured I'd take just an extra 15 minutes to write down some ideas on how to attack this problem I've been putting off.
To my surprise, I got really engaged in it and after an hour of thinking and writing down some notes, it actually turned out to be much simpler and easier than I thought. So the following day, writing this feature became my priority and I was actually excited to get started with it! I spent roughly 2 hours from start to finish coding this feature and it felt great, everything just connected and I really felt I was in the flow. I released the feature that same day and felt proud of it.
We tend to overthink things sometimes and come up with all kinds of excuses to delay doing things we don't feel like doing, even if we know they're important. But often times, all we really need is spend a few minutes to get started and build that momentum. Eventually, we realize it gets easier as we form a more accurate picture of the work involved. It doesn't always happen this way, of course. Sometimes it's the opposite and we realize the problem is actually more involved. But from my experience this doesn't happen that often and we're usually still better off as we'd learned something and we can make a better decision on whether it's worth continuing or just let it go.
Looking back, as a software developer, this actually happens to me a lot. Just earlier today I ran into this again. There's this feature that I feel is important to include in our app but I just didn't feel like working on it and caught myself thinking about excuses to avoid it. But the solution was just to get started and now I'm almost done with it. And once again, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
So whenever you feel like you have this big, complex, important task you need to tackle, don't wait for the motivation to come to you. Just get started.