Break out of inertia like a strong man and start working

You know those strong man competitions where they drag trucks or massive tree trunks around? Or have you ever tried to move heavy furniture? The hardest part is to get the thing moving. Once it starts rolling, things get easier and it’s not so hard to keep going. The same is true for all the hard tasks in life. But how to break that inertia and get into the swing of things?

Follow the next nine steps and watch yourself move your big jobs around like a strong man pulling a double decker bus.

1. DECIDE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. Too much has been written on this. The truth is that you KNOW what your big jobs are. The ones that need time and quality attention. The stuff you worry about. Pick one of these.

2. CLEAR YOUR WORK SPACE. Computer people, clear your desks. Auto mechanics, clear the workshop etc. Don’t make a fuss about this, just move the clutter to the side.

3. DEAL WITH ANY MINOR DISTRACTIONS THAT YOU CAN SEE COMING. If one of your colleagues have been trying to speak to you all week and is heading your way… Or you need to return a call to your husband or wife about fetching the kids from school. Do it quick, and don’t get stuck in anything long or complicated.

4. MINIMIZE INTERRUPTIONS. Unplug the Internet, close your office door, switch off your phone etc. In most cases the biggest interrupter can be found between your ears, so the next step is really important…

5. CALM YOURSELF A colleague of mine smokes a cigarette very slowly. I like closing my eyes for a minute or two – at my desk, no fuss or fanfare. If your work environment allows, lying down with your eyes closed for a few minutes works too. There are many ways of doing this. Find what works for you.

6. SPEND A SOLID CHUNK OF TIME ON THE JOB. For me this is 45-60 minutes, but many people can go for longer. The limit is in the 90-120min range.

7. TAKE A BREAK. Have tea. Go for a walk. But make it a real break. Losing yourself in email for 20 minutes is not a break, no.

8. GO BACK TO YOUR DESK, DO IT AGAIN. Calm yourself again and do another solid chunk of work. Notice how this second shift is easier to start. That’s because your truck is now moving….

9. CONGRATULATIONS. YOU HAVE JUST DONE AN EXCELLENT DAY'S WORK. Enjoy the feeling of achievement. Enjoy how it washes over the rest of the day.

Do the same again tomorrow. 

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