Stopping Starting at Work

Bob Goldman on

It's a gigantic project and you're responsible. Everyone is counting on you, including your manager.

There's only one problem.

You can't get started.

What we have here is a serious breakdown in the phenomenon psychologists call "task initiation," and bosses call "a darn good reason for termination."

Which brings us to "If You Struggle to Start or Complete Tasks, These 13 Tips Are For You," a recent article by Sydni Ellis in The Huffington Post.

"Think of it like your brain's get-up-and-go," writes Ellis. "You have to turn the key, put the car in drive, then press on the gas -- otherwise you won't actually go anywhere."


And what happens if your car is out of gas, has two flat tires, and a weasel is living in the exhaust pipe? You're not only going nowhere; you're going nowhere fast.

I'd like to comment on all 13 tips, but, frankly, I just can't get started. However, I can come up with a discussion of six of the tips, which, as it turns out, is Tip No. 1 for stopping the can't-get-started blues.

No. 1: Practice chunking

To therapist Billy Roberts, chunking means "breaking down things into small, actionable steps," the accomplishment of which "can help break down that wall of total resistance."


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