Beating Mental Inertia

September 17, 2012 by John Andrew Williams

The first five minutes.

In my work as an Academic Life Coach, I’ve found myself very interested in the process people use in the last few minutes of wrapping up an activity and the first few minutes of starting a new task. Newton’s First Law states that an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

Here’s Williams First Law of Productivity:

A mind at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

Similar to Newton’s Laws, once an object is moving, it will keep moving until something causes it to stop.

It’s the same with the mind.

A mind in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

Once a mind is thinking and on a roll, it’s easier to keep on that roll.

Yes, friction exists. A mind gets tired. Yet here’s the bottom-line:

Separate the challenge of the initial inertia with the challenge of doing the work. A task, once started, starts to become easier.

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