Newton’s First Law of Motion = Productophile’s Zeroth Law of Productivity

Source: twinkl.com (Newton Cartoon)

First of all, sorry for the confusing title. Productophile is not a word you will find in any of the reputable dictionaries today, it’s just a word I invented for people (kind of like me) who love productivity tips/hacks. I also didn’t mean to scare you with high-school physics terms and I promise we won’t talk about a lot of physics here, if that helps.

Seeing the recent dip in my productivity in the last few days, I wondered what I was doing wrong — why I was feeling that lazy or repulsive to a particular task. I realized that most of them were fresh new tasks and thus demanded more of my attention, energy, and time. Which is when I had this trivial revelation. I joined the dots and this is what I found.

First, just to flex my knowledge in physics, here’s Newton’s First Law of Motion (as it was on NASA’s website):

Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.

I realized that this law also applied in some way to the brains of Homo Sapiens and their intrinsic working. It takes extra effort to start a completely new project/task. Infact, it’s all about getting started. Sorry for flexing my physics knowledge again but, I am sure many of you might even know how static friction is always higher than kinetic friction. The act of getting started itself put us down so many times that we forget how easy it is going to be later on.

Some use the flywheel method to explain how getting started on something can be difficult at first and how it later adds up its potential to make your work seem effortless (not literally) just like a flywheel. Somehow you are on your own to get yourself into the zone. The snap can be difficult which is why I have a method or two that could work here.

  1. FBR- Fast Bad Wrong: Came across this in an article, that says you need not worry a lot about your first draft of your work at all. I believe we can expand the context of this acronym to fit more tasks than just writing — Your first draft of anything can be/has to be fast, bad and wrong. Since it’s all about getting started, you need not focus on perfecting it bit by bit, leave the editing/improving part for some other time.
  2. The One Perfect Rule: First used and spoken about in the context of the British Cycling Team, whose coach decided that by improving 1% in any aspect of cycling or cycling equipment, they can achieve much more in the long run. You can use this rule once you have got started with something and do not wish to fall back into the same pit of procrastinating again by labeling a task ‘Too Easy’ or ‘Too Difficult’. Just aim for 1% improvement in whatever you are gonna start with or currently doing.

That’s Productophile’s Zeroth Law of Productivity. I hope tomorrow I can write more posts and more words than I wrote today… just 1% more.

Takeaway: It is all about getting started. Nothing can be more difficult than starting something afresh which is why you need to devote more attention and time to it.

-Aditya Darekar

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Aditya Darekar

Aditya Darekar

Since you have finally stumbled upon me, Hi There! Love to write about Tech, Productivity, Books, DIY Cooking and sharing some Life Stories you may like.