Raise your hand if you have ever gotten stuck and couldn't move forward on a project because of something that didn't freaking matter? It happens to all of us too often! We need to talk about how to stop getting stuck in the weeds. Progress over perfection, people!
Stop Getting Stuck in the Weeds
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
It can be really, really tempting to use “the weeds” in our lives as excuses for not getting things done. I have been SO excited about my new office, but as soon as we finished fixing it up, literally EVERYTHING happened to stop me from going there. (As of this recording, I’ve only been able to work there a handful of times, and it’s been at night rather than during business hours). And I could easily get stuck on that idea and say that I can’t work because I couldn’t go into my office. But I SHOULDN’T.
Let’s get metaphorical!
Imagine that you’re walking through a field full of tall grass. Tall grass is my actual nightmare… And I live on a farm that’s full of it! I’m so afraid to walk through it because you can’t see anything. There could be snakes, or holes, or even worse.
So, you’re trying to get from one end of the field to the other, and you have a fear of tall grass like I do. If you sit there imagining all of the tiny bugs that you might run into on your walk from one end of the field to the other… You’ll LITERALLY be stuck in the weeds.
Being stuck in the weeds means focusing on things that don’t matter as part of the big picture.
This happens to ALL of us. We get stuck in the details! And just because I value progress over perfection doesn’t mean that I don’t get stuck in the weeds – because I do.
The BIGGEST place that I see people get stuck in the details is in the naming of things. Someone decided to open a digital notebook business, and instead of working on MAKING the notebooks, they get hung up on the name. Instead of putting together the actual important pieces of the puzzle (hello, products), they decide they can’t do anything until they have a name.
Maybe you want to start a podcast or a YouTube channel, but you aren’t sure what you’re going to name it. There are still SO MANY things you can do if you know that you’re gearing up to start a podcast or a YouTube channel that DON’T require you to know the name of it!
I’ve been in SO many Clubhouse rooms where people say that they want to start a channel but have no idea what to name it. And who cares? Start with something and you can always change it later. Do you know how many times I’ve changed the name of my YouTube channel from Hey Jessica to Jessica Stansberry? A LOT.
Stop getting stuck in the weeds. The name of something doesn’t matter.
Another example of getting stuck in the weeds
My husband, Jonathan, recently took over what used to be our farm YouTube channel. He’s made a few videos on it (and hopefully when you listen to this, he will have made more!), and after the first video, he came to me and said he needed an intro.
And, I told him he didn’t need an intro. We don’t want to invest time and/or money into making an intro if he isn’t going to stick with it. And he said, “No, I need an intro!” And he wouldn’t move forward with editing a video because he thought he needed an intro.
THAT is getting stuck in the weeds. I had to remind him that this was part of the “weeds” that don’t matter.
The vibe of your Instagram probably is NOT as important as finding your next client. An intro on your YouTube video probably is NOT as important as just posting it and staying consistent. The name of your new course should not stop you from building the course.
Seriously, stop getting stuck in the weeds!
When I’m in YouTube Clubhouse rooms, there are ALWAYS people who come up to the stage to ask about cameras. They aren’t sure what to use and want to know what camera the speaker uses. So, someone who hasn’t even started (or has barely started) on YouTube asks a group of full-time YouTubers what kind of camera they use. See the problem there?
That is a DANGEROUS path to go on. Generally as you up your YouTube game, you level up in your equipment. So, a lot of YouTubers have these massively expensive camera setups, but that is not at all what you need when you get started on the platform.
Anytime I talk about equipment, I remind people that they should NOT spend money on a camera until they are SURE they’re going to stick with YouTube. Start on your phone! They are really good quality, and that’s all you need.
Let’s say you want to start a podcast and you’re stuck in “analysis paralysis” of what mic to buy. A mic should not keep you stuck! Find somebody who has a podcast and ask what mic they use. If you don’t like it, then change it later!
Stop getting stuck in the weeds. Don’t get stuck in “I don’t have a webcam,” “I don’t have an assistant,” “I don’t have a fancy camera.”
Those are excuses to stop you from starting. They’re little things that don’t ACTUALLY matter.
I’m a big picture thinker.
I’m DEFINITELY not a details gal. I focus on the big picture. I know that if I want to make $X or launch a course what matters, and sometimes the details get lost in that. For me, that’s okay. But I think that I notice when people are LITERALLY stuck in the weeds because I’m so focused on the big picture.
STOP saying you don’t want to start on Instagram because you don’t have the perfect filter yet. Or, that you can’t make a Reel today because your makeup isn’t done. Those are little details that don’t matter!
How to stop getting stuck in the weeds
First, find yourself an accountability partner or coach who DOESN’T get stuck in the weeds! They’ll help get you out when you're feeling trapped.
Second, come back and listen to this episode! It’ll be a good reminder that you shouldn’t be stuck on the little things.
Third, train yourself to think big picture! Ask yourself: does what you’re stuck on really even matter? To be fair, we probably wouldn’t be working on something that we thought was unimportant. OF COURSE it matters what you’re going to name your podcast, what your YouTube channel is called, or what your intro looks like.
But does it matter to the point it should hold you back?
Can you do something else while you think about what you're stuck on? Try to move forward somewhere!
My kids do this, and my oldest is the worst at it. Let’s say he has to do math, reading, and science for school today, and he starts with math. I am recording a podcast and told them not to bother me. When I go back to check on their work, he'll tell me he's been watching TV because he got stuck on one math problem. Like, no! Put that worksheet aside and start working on something else!
He’s gotten a lot better at it as we’ve talked about it, but you get the idea. One math problem shouldn't stop you from finishing the worksheet. The teacher would ask you why you didn’t just skip #3 when there were 50 other problems on the sheet, right?
This is the same with business! Can you move past the thing you’re stuck on, push it to a later date, or move to the next math problem while you’re stuck?
Imagine you’re creating a course and you’ve made a checklist of everything you need to do to complete the course. You need to film a welcome video, but you also need to screen record some steps. Maybe you need to borrow a camera from a friend to do the welcome video and you can’t for a few days. That doesn’t mean you just stop creating the course! Go ahead and work on the screen recordings. You don’t always have to do the first thing on the list first.
Stop getting stuck in the weeds! Skip around them or revisit them when you have a fresher brain. Don’t let them hold you back! Let’s make a pact that we will STOP getting stuck in the weeds, stop worrying about things that don’t matter, and make big picture moves.