Thursday, November 21, 2013

Overcoming Inertia

How is sugarcane packaged by the grower and shipped to market?  I thought it was a fairly simple question to research.  But the answer eluded me and stopped me cold in writing my novel.  I didn't skip the section dealing with it and move on.  I just stopped.  And I haven’t worked on the novel in six months.

Ouch.  I hate to admit it, but I am the queen of the unfinished project.  Several examples come to mind.  I found a maternity dress I planned to make for myself – all cut out and ready to sew.  My youngest child is 27.  I found a cross-stitch sampler that I started in 1990.  I found a baby dress I started for my daughter, who is now 28.  I don’t remember what my excuses were for not finishing these. 

I’m retired.  I have no excuses.  It’s time to take action.   How have others overcome inertia to get things done?

Google is my friend.  The first article I found was from Forbes, titled Two Ways to Overcome Inertia, written by Sonia Kapadia.  The two ways were 1) schedule the activity and make yourself accountable, or 2) deliberately do something completely different to refocus and clear the mind.

The second article Google listed was in and lists seven ways to overcome inertia and get yourself unstuck. 
1.  Shock yourself into action. 
2.  Secure short term wins. 
3.  Dangle a carrot in front of yourself. 
4.  Use a stick. 
5.  Fill your gas tank. 
6.  Create a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve. 
7.  Stage it. 

The third article I found titled Overcoming Inertia: Harnessing our Minds by Kerwyn Hodge, states it both clearly and succinctly:
      1.  Inertia is a real part of our lives, and can work for us or against us.
2.  To overcome inertia, you need an external force.
3.  That external force is our mind.

To this inspired list of strategies, I add my own:  practice finishing.  We get better at things we practice.  I’m hoping this will be no exception.

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