Weekly musings, 8/13/17: tackling the hard stuff
It is hard to be productive. In his book, “The War of Art,” Steven Pressfield calls this resistance, writing, “Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead, we say, ‘I am going to write my symphony: I’m just going to start tomorrow.’”
People do this with diets, exercise programs, writing, budgeting, and a myriad of other tasks which might, in some way, alter life but requires effort. The easiest way I have found to maintain a high level of productivity is to do the things that are most challenging for me at the times of the day when I have the most energy.
Three days a week, I wake up and go for a run. At 4AM. I love my morning runs. They give me time to think, I always feel better afterwards, but they aren’t always easy. Running is one of those things it’s easy to put off and say, “I’ll do it later.”
I run at 4AM because I am a morning person. By rolling out of bed and running, I don’t have time to talk myself out of it, and I don’t notice if it’s cold- I simply bundle up and walk, bleary eyed, out the front door to begin running.
I am able to do things like run, write, and create consistently because I minimize distractions during the hours I feel the best. I don’t have internet at work and my cell reception is spotty. This allows me to maximize my output. I am not distracted by web surfing. I use my computer for writing and my iPad for filming. I don’t check my phone during my workouts because there would be nothing to see.
Figure out when you have the most energy and schedule your hardest thing for the day during that hour. Whether it’s lifting weights, balancing your checkbook, or something for work you really don’t like doing. When you get into the habit of overcoming your resistance during your most energetic times, it makes it easier to deal with resistance at other points in the day. I can proof a blog in the evening, for instance, knowing the hard part of writing is done. Start the hardest part today when you feel the best; the rest will seem easy.