This world. This place. This life.

Overcoming Inertia

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Despite the title of this post, inertia is not why I haven’t posted since last week.  We have finally accepted an offer on our Eagle River home, which has been on the market since last June, and we’ve been running around trying to accommodate a quick closing date.  I’ve also been busy assembling and planting my plot in the Girdwood Community Garden–more on that later.

As I’ve written about before, I often have a hard time getting things done, and particularly with getting started.  Here are a few of my tactics for overcoming inertia.

  • Someone expects me. I am much better at dragging myself into Anchorage to get to church if someone there expects me to show up and do something.
  • Someone needs me. Our dog, Brady, doesn’t have an indoor potty option; he needs me to get off the couch and out of the condo at least four or five times a day.
  • Capturing fleeting moments of  “I want to and I can.” Perhaps they’re surges of a “Let’s Move!” neurotransmitter, or my caffeine kicking in, but whatever they are, I try to notice and act on them.
  • Commit to small bursts of activity. If I tell myself I have to clean every room in the condo, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, I’m likely to feel overwhelmed.  But if my self-appointed task is to spend five minutes picking up Brady’s toys, that’s a much more achievable goal.
  • Harness technology. From something as simple as a kitchen timer to the innumerable apps on an iPhone, those of us  not hard-wired for getting things done need external devices that help us keep on track.
  • Use an old-fashioned, paper to-do list. My current favorite was created by a fellow UU blogger.
  • The power of “before.” The primary thing that helped me get serious about daily writing is one simple rule:  Blog before Facebook.
  • Create a believable deadline. Here’s my new favorite deadline idea, from Seth Godin:  Give a friend $20, and if you don’t meet your deadline, your friend gives the $20 to a cause you can’t stand.
  • Take a pill. About a year ago, I started taking a daily multi-vitamin in an “active mind and body” formula, with B vitamins and guarana.  I stopped taking it because, with my morning coffee, it made me bounce off the walls.  I started taking it again recently–but at lunchtime.  So far, so good.

Got something that works for you?  By all means, let me know!


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