Break the Inertia by Starting the Clock


Productivity and consistency seem to be at the heart of any success. Whether it is with regard to exercise, professional, or personal life.

According to Newton’s first law of motion, an object will remain in its state of motion until an external force is applied to it (an object at rest wants to stay at rest).

The same is true when it comes to getting things done. Whether that is something you find challenging (emails) or something you find fun and enjoyable (music and fitness). The hardest part is always just getting started.

What I have found works quite well is to break it down into time blocks. If you are really struggling and trying to avoid the task, make the time block short and have the option to continue.

Try it
Set a timer for 5 minutes with the idea that you can reevaluate the situation and add more time if you’re up for it. Because 5 minutes is such a short time, you’re less likely to talk yourself out of it entirely.

Once you start the clock, the inertia is broken, and starting a clock is so damn easy. It’s almost like a baby step before the first actual step to getting the thing started.

My experience has been great
1. Emails are now “At least 5 minutes, and then maybe 10 more.”

2. #5minuteflow has been a 5-15 minute flow that sometimes snowballs into a full-blown training session.

I’ve actually purchased a couple hourglasses for this as well. The key difference from a timer is that an hourglass doesn’t make a noise when time is “up”. You still get to break the inertia, but you aren’t constrained or reminded that time is over. You stop when you look at the hourglass AND when it is empty–which is another way you can maximize your time.

Set your timer and break the inertia.

Better every day,
-Max

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