Have you ever came home from work, sat down on the couch, and accidentally binged on Netflix for three hours; even after they asked you if you are still watching?
Do you sometimes put off tasks because the challenge seems too much?
Have you ever meant to exercise, but you just didn’t feel like it?
Instead of getting done what you wanted, you finished the latest season of Orange is the New Black (BTW: the ending of last season was CRAZY).
All of these things have happened to me too!
It’s a horrible feeling. You had every intention of working out, emailing out resumes, working on a side business, or cleaning up that huge mess in your office, but something happened and you didn’t get what you wanted accomplished.
I don’t think this happens because we are lazy or for a lack of motivation. This happens because we are horrible at starting things that don’t give us an immediate payoff (our brains LOVE immediate payoffs).
That is why it is much easier to watch television than go on a run.
When we see a huge mess in our office, we avoid it because the job looks too big and we feel like we’ll never get it done.
After sitting on the couch for an hour, it is really hard to start exercising.
You get the idea. Our mind plays tricks on us. We know what we should do, but our brains what instant gratification.
The Newton Technique
The next time you know you should do something, but can’t get yourself to start then try, what I call, the Newton Technique.
This is a tactic I use to get myself moving.
We all have heard of Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion. The first law states:
An object at rest will remain at rest and object in motion remains in motion.
This explains why sometimes we end up on the couch watching tv for a few hours. An object (you) is at rest and it’s easier to remain on the couch.
To utilize the Newton Technique, simply set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Start doing whatever it is you need to do until the timer goes off.
After the timer goes off, you are free to stop.
For example, if you know you need to exercise then start exercising for five minutes.
I know what you are thinking, what good is exercising for five minutes? Not much.
However, you probably won’t stop. Seriously who only exercises for five minutes? You’ll start feel better that you are actually doing something and you’ll continue the full workout.
As Newton’s law states, an object in motion remains in motion. This is what is happening.
We get more motivated because we are actually accomplishing whatever it is that needs to get done. We are feeling better about ourselves. Suddenly our brain is feeling that payoff.
So how can you use this to get more accomplished?
Here is a list of ten ways to utilize the Newton Technique:
- Exercise – Start exercising for five minutes. I doubt you’ll stop.
- Cleaning – We all hate to clean, right? However, when you start the process, you’ll keep going.
- Children – If you want your kids to do something other than play on the iPads, play with them for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off stop. I guarantee they’ll continue to play.
- Writing – I know people say they get writers block, but I wrote this post using the Newton Technique.
- Cooking – No one ever starts cooking then stops mid-preparation. Plus you’ll be healthier.
- Reading – This one may not stick, but reading for just five minutes a day does wonders for your mind.
- Planning – Most people fail to plan, set the timer for 5 minutes and plan out tomorrow. You’ll be much more productive.
- Learning a New Skill – Whether you are trying to learn the guitar or a foreign language; each day utilize the Newton Technique to improve.
- Projects – My wife has an elaborate backup system for the million pictures she takes. However, she hates starting the project, but once she starts she will complete it (even if it takes 3 hours). Whatever project you are working on utilize the Newton Technique.
- Mowing – Start mowing for five minutes, you’ll keep going.
The Newton Technique can help you get more accomplished in your life when you don’t feel like it. Utilizing it can be a game changer.
If you feel this post was helpful, please help someone else out and share it!