How do you get yourself to work on your Big Important Project when checking Facebook (or whatever) is so much easier and more psychologically rewarding?
Here’s an amazingly simple trick that works wonders for me:
- Set up your workspace for the next step of your Big Important Project, but don’t start on it yet.
- Walk away for a few minutes.
- Come back and get to work.
This trick works because each step is easy.
It’s hard to tear yourself away from Facebook to dive into your Big Important Project because your Big Important Project is daunting. But you can probably tear yourself away just to set up your workspace for the next step in that project. That’s easy.
When you come back after walking away for a few minutes, getting started will be the default course of action. It would actually be harder at that point to go back to Facebook than to start on your real work.
Note that for this trick to work, you have to set up your workspace so that the next step in your Big Important Project is staring you in the face when you come back so that working on it really is the default course of action. If it’s something you need to do on your computer, for instance, then it should be the only window visible on your desktop.
Give this trick a try, and leave a comment to let me know what happens.
Note: I’ll return to Managing Your Research Sources next week. I had limited time this week, so this post had to be a quickie (which is probably the best kind of blog post anyway).
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