Date of writing: Wednesday October 16th
Congratulations to me: I have tricked my mind into sitting down and writing something. Although I’m currently a week of from work I have yet to seriously continue on my book. Procrastination is a thing, yes. I’m an experienced procrastinator and I know it.
I can talk all day long about other interesting things that are going on or that are on my ‘to do list’, but the fact is that I had planned yesterday (Tuesday) to work on my book today. And it did not happen.
Funny how that didn’t work out. It seems I had found something more easier to keep my attention. And with that dopamine influx my afternoon was gone before I knew it.
A little bummed by this I had the brilliant idea just before dinner to search the internet on how to bend my motivation to the the correct subject. How to easily move into action. But I quickly realized I already know the answer. Without finding what I eventually found. It happens to us all…
Just as an FYI: Because I am a master procrastinator I need to have someone else telling me thing I know already; so my mind can get affirmation and lose 30 minutes while doing it……
Now what I found is a theoretical frame. It’s called the Do something principle (by Mark Manson).
The funny thing is this principle is a circular three-step framework where I can and want to add in a step 0 which I know will help me sometimes. Other times its just start with step 1. So here we go.
Step 0: if you’re doing something that doesn’t suit your needs, take a small break. Go to the toilet or take a walk. Just to break away from the situation or flow you are in. It helps to close off anything your doing. So if you’re gaming, close the game. This way, when you return to your workspace it’s ‘clean’. I usually have the issue that I start my PC, open the related programme but get distracted by something else. Stop what you’re doing and take a (small) break.
The Do Something Principle itself is as mentioned a circular framework were it does not matter where you start. You can enter the circle on any of the three positions. But in my specific case I have numbered the thing that I need to do as step 1.
Step 1: Action/Do something. In my case: write a paragraph or a sentence. It doesn’t matter the quality but write something. If the thing you’re aiming for is big (like writing a book), make it smaller so it can be done in one or two minutes. And if you find yourself staring at a piece of paper just write a word. You got to start somewhere, right?
This blog started with the word procrastination.
The strange thing is that step 2 and 3 usually follow naturally after you made your start. Step 2: Inspiration. Even if the goal is to write one sentence, what usually happens is that we can and will do a little bit more. And before you know it you’ve arrived at Step 3: Motivation. Cheers, you’ve motivated yourself to take further action. A round circle.
Out of sight, out of mind
The way I experience working on (bigger) projects is: the longer we are separate from one the tougher it gets to start anew or continue with it. So my plan for tomorrow is not to first post this on my website, but to open the book project file and write a sentence in the first chapter of the book.
To help myself I will now pull the internet cable from my machine so that is also not available tomorrow.
I will let you know what happened in a couple weeks 🙂