I believe that getting things done is a matter of mindset, which you can consciously choose to be in.
“Get things done” VS. “Keep the problem” mindsets
Mindset: Get things done
In this mindset, you are interested in getting your task sorted. Even if you feel you can’t make a decision right now, you are focused on getting it done as early as you can. Things you might be thinking:
- What is blocking me to get this done right now? (and you look for an honest answer, not excuses)
- What is the minimal information do I need to get this done?
- What can I sort out now with the information I’ve already got?
- Is the risk to get it wrong bigger than the hassle of having it still on my todo list?
- Is my decision actually going to change after I get the information I’m waiting for? (There is a very interesting research on decision paralysis in the book”Made to stick“. The mere existence of uncertainty seems to block people even when the uncertainty was irrelevant to the outcome.)
Mindset: Keep the problem
In this situation you feel you can’t make a decision and your mind feels blocked, maybe because of uncertainties or concerns. Now, you may be genuinely blocked, but in most cases you might be only in a “keep the problem” mindset, walking around in circles, until you’re forced to make a decision.
The only way to get out of this mindset is to start asking yourself the questions from the “get things done” (above).
I believe that, in most of the time, it’s a conscious decision to change our mindset to get things done.