Consider your "stuff" as individual happenings that are best treated individually. Ignore all the others while you target to get started on at least one of those To-Do tasks.
The distinction between stuff and things is important. Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff”, you can see that they each have a very predictable life cycle. Recognizing each problem’s separateness brings it from the realm of the abstract and endless to that of the concrete and temporary.
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It is to end the Counterproductive phase as soon as possible. This end is always a concrete, bodily action, often taken with some trepidation: opening up the word processor, dialing a phone number, or getting out a piece of paper so you can sketch up a plan.
When you halt your work on a given thing due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering the nonproductive phase. Physical action ceases, and pointless rumination begins. Anxiety will rise until you enter the Productive Phase again. This is a good reason not to switch tasks unnecessarily. Push one t...
The problem starts when you know what you need to do, but don't. The anxiety, shame and fear lie between the knowing and the doing. Nothing else happens in this phase except your suffering and aging, we can call this the Unproductive Phase.
At some point, often spurred by ...
The anxiety from the Productive Phase, soon drown as you begin to realize that the task is pretty doable, is finite and consists of small, ordinary actions like Googling, reading, and sketching.
Your sense of capability swells and the fear recedes. This phase takes less and less willpower ...
The rising anxiety associated with a particular thing comes from a misapprehension of what it will actually be like to do the work.
The anxiety associated with the work is made of abstract, big-picture emotional concerns, about reputation, legacy, anxiety for the future, self-este...
The critical point is always where you enter the productive phase, and this is accomplished by starting alone. Finishing is only a matter of starting from where you are, as many times as you have to, until it’s done.
Most of the resistance and stress is piled up on the boundary be...
A Serious Procrastinator might experience the overlapping fear from many sources and begin to see them as a single problem: I suck at life. This makes it harder for them to do any task with longer Unproductive Phases and increased anxiety with a daring crisis to force them to ac...
Many or most procrastinators are pessimists, habitually overestimating the difficulty of what they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.
The odd task that turns out unexpectedly hard doesn’t change anything — the counterproductive pha...
More like this
What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.
Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff to-do”, you can see that they each have a very pre...
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