Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Procrastination is Like Learning to Drive

I was thinking today as I ran about what happens when we think about tasks/ actions/ challenges. For a while I’ve been thinking about how I need to create as shallow an ‘on-ramp’ (like a ramp into a carpark or motorway?) as possible to tasks. Rather than having the action to do and building up objections sub-consciously to the effort of doing it (Forster’s reactive brain), I need to do a little bit of pre-planning to stop building the blockages to doing the task.

What I thought about as I ran was when I learnt to drive in a fully manual car, one of the really tricky bits was the clutch control. The whole balancing/ tipping point bit around not over-revving and potentially stalling when taking the clutch off too quickly and not under-revving and avoiding going anywhere (apologies to any pure- automatic drivers who think I’m now talking in Swahili…….) In the worst case scenario you end up flooding the engine.

So my question was whether taking action on tasks/ projects/ challenges and goals is like learning to drive and are we all still stuck in learner mode? I know I sometimes over-rev and stall in advance of taking action. Over-thinking and over-anticipating the small amount of effort actually required to be successful. There are still skeletons littering my project and task list (and in some furthest corners my goals and vision statements) which are like flooded engines. Too much anticipation has built up in the cylinders of my mind and I just can’t start on them.

I need some advanced driver lessons.

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