Monday, February 19, 2018

One Rep

People actually don't have a problem doing work. They actually have a problem starting. That means when you are procrastinating, you can think of it like you are delaying the start of work rather than delaying the work itself. Why is this true? I think its related because once you gain motion, once you gain momentum, that momentum will drive you forward to complete the task. In some cases it becomes harder to stop doing the task than to keep going forward.

This is actually good news because it means that instead of solving the problem of how we can complete an entire task, we just need to solve the problem of getting started; a much simpler (but not easy 😀) problem. Mel Robbin's 5 second rule (video below) is a good way to tackle this.


My own technique was when I go to the gym, I try not to convince myself that I am going to do a full body workout. Just thinking about all the exercises is exhausting. Instead I've convinced myself that I will just go in there and do some bench press. That's it. But of course once I'm in the gym and handle one exercise, I'm ready to roll and look around for the next thing to do, eventually getting around to a decent workout. So all I had to do to get started was to lower my expectations of the task to a minimum of 1 exercise. But now that I think of it, this can go even smaller. Maybe all I need to start is to get into the car. I'm not going to turn around once I'm leaving the house. Or maybe as small as putting on my gym clothes. Once I have my gym shirt on am I really going to take it off and not go?  Very slight change of habits can really lead to big things. I've combined the technique of just writing one sentence and having my blog already open in a sticky tab in my browser. Its working so far.