Tricking myself

There’s a productivity trick that almost always works and I don’t use it anywhere near often enough. 

For the past couple of days, I’ve been worrying about a report I need to create at work – not an article, an internal report, which I’m not accustomed to doing. The deadline is approaching, and my stress is ratcheting up. It’d take a few hours to do – not a lot of time, but I didn’t feel like I had that time to spare. 

Today I said to myself, “Look, just open a Microsoft Word document, pick a template, put your name at the top and then you’ll have started it at least.” It’d only take five minutes (I thought) but it’s five minutes less work I’d have to do later. 

And I did that and then I figured, well, might as well do the first paragraph. And having done the first paragraph, I figured why not do the second. And having done the second….

And now the document is nearly done. It will probably need just a half-hour to polish and then I can send it on its way. 

Why don’t I do that trick more often? Because it works every goddamn time.