Thanks to James Clear for his inspiration on today’s post! The theme of his article is to explain why we do not always follow through on what we set out to do. It’s called the ‘akrasia’ effect – a term coined by the Greek philosophers. The point is that we’re often very good at making plans to do things but not quite so accomplished at actually doing them. The reason for this is that we’re very good at putting off future reward for a more immediate reward. For example, why start writing that book (reward in future) when I can check my emails, look at tomorrow’s weather in Bhutan or even cut my toenails … any manner of quick, simple immediately gratifying task is surely better?! There are, however, strategies to avoid this procrastination:
1. Commitment – this could be committing to writing one page of that book, or setting up a regular direct debit to a savings account to save for a holiday.
2. Habits – here we could commit a specific time each day to writing that one page of the book, so it becomes a habit and writing the book becomes a process rather than an unfathomable mountain to climb.
The encouraging part of this is that the starting is generally harder than the actual task itself. I know that I can find it hard to begin a blog posting, however, once I get started, I get immersed in it and the words begin to flow.
I also think about the story of how to eat an elephant … one bite at a time … a bit of a cliche but very true and very useful for getting stuff done!
Thanks for reading and comments much appreciated!