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How to conquer work paralysis like Ernest Hemingway

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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How to conquer work paralysis like Ernest Hemingway

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

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Key Ideas

Ernest Hemingway

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."

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.

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.

"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."

"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."

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.

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.

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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