A great piece by Peter Bregman in the Harvard Business Review about How (And When) to Motivate Yourself:
I write at least one post a week. Does that take discipline? Sure. But when I break it down, the hardest part — the part for which I need the discipline — is sitting down to write. I’ll find all sorts of things to distract me from starting. But if I can get myself to start a post, I don’t need much discipline to finish it.
This is my experience as well. I spend lots of time noodling over whether or not to sit down and write. I’ll wonder when I’m going to do it, I’ll schedule my weekend morning so that it has writing time. I spend a lot of time doing this…way more than necessary.
But once I’ve started I’ve got momentum. It’s the sitting down that’s the hard part…where most of my consternation comes in. I think this is why some of the best thinkers had daily rituals…so they could spend less time planning and more time doing.
Bregman’s solution to moments in which to make decisions?
“Schedule them. Create an established time to second-guess yourself, a time when you know your commitment won’t be weakened by the temptations of the moment. If you’re going to break the diet, do it when your need for willpower is at its lowest. Decide to decide the next day, maybe after a healthy breakfast or a little exercise, when you know your inclination to stick to your goals will be naturally high.