I’m taking a break from my studies right now, well actually transcribing highlighted notes from my most recently finished book, “Fascinate,” (not an affiliate link) by Sally Hogshead. I paused for a second and thought about two hours ago.
I had two options just before that. Turn on the TV and relax (it’s Sunday night after all) or type up my book notes, which I’ve been putting off for a few days. I put coffee on, set up my laptop at the other table, took the book out and opened Microsoft Word.
The strange thing I realized is that I used a motivation technique that I’ve used for stressful tasks and anxiety.
There’s nothing worse than the first time you’re charged with making your first cold-call, with everyone in ear’s distance while you’re staring at a few dozen lines of contacts on a spreadsheet. Thinking about “the pitch,” you get more nervous and put the call of another couple of minutes. The more thought, emotion, you put into a stressful situation the harder it becomes to take action.
The solution? Don’t think. OK, don’t not think, but take action once you know the task at hand. The conversation will lead itself. It’s a mild form of cognitive behavioral therapy.
What’s nice is that the decision between TV or “work” happened almost instinctively as I’ve practiced this motivation style for years now.
Also, I looked at the clock, realized how many hours I have before I want to go to bed and decided an hour of work (which has turned into 2+) was an easy thing to stick to.
Attaching a goal perhaps helped even more than “not thinking.”
I can be pretty good at procrastinating at times, I’m curious to hear how someone else attacks work. How do you drop everything and take action? Or do you?