Chapter 2 of this book is where things get tough - it's called "What's Holding You Back?", and it's probably the reason I've waited (i.e., procrastinated) on writing about it. Morgenstern identifies three levels of obstacles that keep people from getting what they want - Technical Errors, External Realities, and Psychological Obstacles. I've detailed the ones that pertain to me after the cut.
Fortunately the psychological obstacles, which seem the hardest to solve, can be left to the end of the process, Morgenstern assures me!
#1 Tasks Have No "Home" - this is very true for me right now, when every day is a big slushpile of things that could be done, and very little I actually want to do.
#2 You've Set Aside the Wrong Time - I think she's right that I have no idea what time of day is good for particular kinds of tasks for me, and that I'd never even really considered it.
#5 The Task is Overly Complex - I'm very good at taking a simple idea and adding so many layers of perfectionism onto it that it's impossible to start!
#7 Your Space is Disorganized - uh, yeah.
#3 You Are in Transition - this should be a wonderful time for me, with more schedule flexibility. Instead I find myself paralyzed.
#1 You Have Unclear Goals and Priorities - so true, and related to the transition mentioned above.
#5 Fear of Failure & #6 Fear of Success - it's only in fairly recent years that I've been familiar with the concept of a fear of success, but I think it's all too true that I think I don't deserve success.
# 8 Fear of Completion - she makes a good point about the creator and editor inside us all. I have an easier time letting the creator out than the editor. Perfectionism plays a part here too, because the closer a project gets to completion, the more I have to admit that it doesn't fit the mental image I had of it.
# 9 Need for Perfection - as she says, this comes from a need for approval.