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How to conquer work paralysis like Ernest Hemingway

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20191205-how-to-conquer-work-paralysis-like-ernest-hemingway

bbc.com

How to conquer work paralysis like Ernest Hemingway
The author wasn’t all about literary masterpieces, dry martinis and rakish charm – he also invented a technique that can beat procrastination and boost productivity.

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Ernest Hemingway

"The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel, you will never be stuck."

Ernest Hemingway

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The “useful interruption”

It's a psychological trick to avoid work paralysis, inspired by Ernest Hemingway's discipline of writing and it means to stop a task when everything is going well.

You will be more motivated to get back to a task that you've interrupted when it was going well.

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Not finishing a task

Studies show that it can actually be beneficial.

To get all the positive effects from this (and to get back at it) you should feel that you are close to completing that task and you also should feel challenged enough by it, to care about its completion.

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"We need to have belief in ourselves – some kind of expectation that we can do something. And when we're closer to finishing something that we had previously failed to achieve, then that optimism increases."

Emmanuel Manalo

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Gestaltism

It is a school of thought emerged in Austria and Germany in the early 20th century.

It was built of the belief that humans make sense of the world through patterns; thus, the whole picture was more important to us than its individual parts.

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Gestaltism and taks management

We can apply the belief of gestaltism (when we have parts of something, we always want to create a whole) to task management.

That means that we want to complete something if we have parts of it already figured out, especially if it's close to making sense or close to achieving some sort of goal.

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Task interruption and the need for closure

When an interruption happens and it stops us from completing a task, we tend to feel unsatisfied and in need of closure.

This interruption can provide a motivational boost and determine us to finish what we started, but it's not always the case.

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Working strategically

Working strategically

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While passion and perseverance are essential to reaching your ...

The strategic mindset

A strategic mindset questions and refines your current approach while facing setbacks and challenges. People with a strategic mindset continuously look for a more efficient route.

We might all benefit from thinking strategically in the pursuit of our goals.

Understanding our thinking processes

A new study found a strategic mindset may make the difference between success or failure.

We should be aware and understand our own thinking processes. Useful strategies would include tracking your progress, recognizing your flaws and the areas that need improvement, then creating steps to overcome those challenges.

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Procrastination has a price. It's related to:

  • Depression
  • Irrational beliefs
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Willpower Doesn’t Work. Systems Do.

People shy away from routines, systems and frameworks because they want to have “freedom.” But in order to get things done, you need rules.

To get things done, research found effective:

  • Self-imposed deadlines.
  • Accountability systems (commitment with friends, or a coach).
  • Working/studying in intervals.
  • Exercising 30 minutes a day.
  • A healthy diet.
  • Eliminating distractions.
  • And most importantly: Internal motivation.

Set multiple deadlines

A way to create less stressful deadlines is to break large projects into smaller tasks. Set a deadline for each task instead of just one final deadline. 

Regularly spacing the deadlin...

Yerkes-Dodson law

The Yerkes-Dodson law states that the more mental arousal there is in doing a task, the more efficient a person becomes. After you get to a certain threshold, your performance begins to decrease.

An appropriate quantity of stress should inspire increased productivity.

Your ideal stress level

Difficult tasks require low levels of stress, while easy tasks require high levels of stress to trigger mental arousal.

The next time you set a deadline, try placing a rush deadline for easier tasks and set your deadline far out for more difficult projects.