Just Do It

What says "take action" more than a poor kid peeing in public? Well, a lot of things...

Alright, so it’s the slogan from Nike who makes shoes in sweatshops by the hands of  little Chinese children, BUT they’re onto something when they say “Just Do It”.  It’s one of my many mantras I turn to when I get stressed out about a project or a story, and after a head full of cluster today I’ve been finding myself saying it a lot tonight.

I’m a very organized and analytical person.  I have to have a written down plan of action before I start working on a story or project.  I have to sit down and take time out to write out a list of sources, questions I need answered from each source, an outline for my story, what background research needs to be done etc.  These steps help me feel like there’s a clear flow to the madness I endure some days.  Today, however, I got very overwhelmed and my thoughts were jumbled when I tried to make a to do list and course of action for the current project I’m planning out and working on.  It seemed impossible to organize all the information that I felt needed to be gathered.  After some time stressing throughout the course of the day I finally decided (around midnight mind you) to stop planning  and just start doing.  Start talking to people, emailing them, gathering any kind of data from the web as I can, meeting with anyone that had something to say on the subject at hand; anything that requires me actually acting and not planning when I would act.  It’s always nice to make a to do list, but the feeling of crossing something off of it has no comparison.

So, it took me a whole day of attempting to make a plan to decide to “Just Do It!”.  It’s the end of the day now, so I’ve got to sleep off the analyzing and planning and making sure things are perfect in order to start a new day of legitimately jumping into the work.  They always say the hardest part is getting going, but once you do the rest just falls into place.  Boy, do I know that’s true.

So I guess this is my piece of journalistic advice for the day: Be organized, have a plan of action, but when it starts to consume and worry you, just jump into getting the work together.  You can’t have a story if you don’t ever start reporting it.

-Haley L.

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