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Sep 8, 2015
2 minutes read

Much has been written on the topic of motivation. It seems like most social content sharing networks will contain a productivity tag or section or similar, which tends to be a glut of clickbait top eight lists with tips in line with “get more sleep,” and “drink plenty of water” citing studies with nominal effects. As with most clickbait-like self-help-things, they tend to be quick and generally empty advice. If there’s any takeaway from life, a good one might be: real improvement is hard.

This was a really good read though: “Screw motivation, what you need is discipline” (which I highly recommend taking a moment to read. Maybe part 2 as well, even!)

Mostly, put horses in front of their respective carts. Do away with the performance anxiety, and just act. Don’t wait to feel good about working. Work to feel good about working. This is one of those things that is so simple that it’s stupid, but probably also works.

There is a lot of dissent among the productivity literature towards this idea. A lot of the famous “Getting Things Done” is an argument that part of the anxiety of taking on a new task stems from a lack of definition of what you’re actually doing. Looking to the Pomodoro technique, it claims to overcome anxiety caused by looking ahead to the size of the task. The impending duration and depth of work scaring you off from simply starting it, when that time would be better spent chipping away at the problem instead. They try to offer cures for work anxiety, but maybe they’re wrong. Pomodoro certainly telegraphs that this may be the case. Don’t think about what you have to do, just set a timer and do it.

What would be best, is to just be able to work without anxiety in the first place. There is no more to be said on the subject, because working is the first step. Just start.

I have a great method for getting motivated about discipline, but unfortunately I’m all out of HTML.

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