by Modeloe

Just Get Started

September 2, 2016

A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Likewise, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. You may recognize that as Newton’s First Law of Motion, also known as inertia. But it seems to work the same when it comes to our mental processes. Once we stop moving, it takes some mental energy to get moving again. When you do get going though, it’s much easier to maintain the behavior.

The trick is to just get started.

This is deceptively simple. Obviously, you don’t feel like doing whatever it is you have to do, or you’d be doing it. But that’s mainly because of inertia. The trick is to do something – anything really – to get yourself moving again in the direction of your goal. According to Professor Tim Pyschyl, an expert on procrastination, once you get started, you’ll feel differently, not only about the task, but also about yourself:

“Just get started … Once we start, our attributions of the task change. Based on other research, we know that our attributions about ourselves change too. First, once we get started … we perceive the task as much less aversive than we do when we’re avoiding it. Second, even if we don’t finish the task, we have done something, and the next day our attributions about [ourself] are not nearly as negative. We feel more in control and more optimistic. You might even say we have a little