The Inertia Paradox

Have you ever tried dusting just one corner of the house and ended up scrubbing the entire place clean? Or deciding to read just one chapter but finishing the entire book? Or going out with friends and not wanting to go home until dawn? Or staying at home on a lazy afternoon and not feel like going out at all – even though you have all the time and there’s lots going on outside?

If you’ve answered yes to even one of those, you know very well how “inertia” somehow influences why we do the things we do.

The Law of Inertia says something like.. “An object in motion will remain in motion and an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external force.” Or at least that’s how I remember it.

But I’m not going to talk Science here.

What I’ve realized is that sometimes, if we want to get out of the rut of procrastinating and putting off working on a project that we see as quite daunting, the key to pushing through is to make ourselves more busy – instead of cancelling other items on our agenda to make room for the said project. When you’re always on the go, you’ll keep being so. But if you’ve cleared your weekend and now have officially nothing to do but begin and complete a project (like writing a book, for example), chances are, if you’re like me, you’ll end up watching reruns of your favorite shows and dozing off on the couch and wandering off to social media and finishing five cups of coffee without so much as writing half a chapter.

Frustratingly familiar, don’t you think?

“Establishing and keeping a routine can be even more important than having a lot of time. Inertia is the death of creativity.” – Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist

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