An Oliver in Motion Tends to Remain in Motion

My trouble is getting myself into motion.

Not toward doing the things I need to do but don’t really want to do — I am horrendous at starting on them, but this doesn’t bother me — no, what I get bummed out about is my inability to start the things that I actually want to do. Write my own songs. Learn a few more Dexter Gordon licks. Read The Brothers Karamazov. Blind-bake some pastry.

Whatever the blasted thing might be, the voice inside my head — telling me that once I get started I’ll be fine — seems to have very little sway. There’s a much louder voice reminding me of all the other things I could be doing right now, or how I’m doing the right thing but in the wrong way…

This has been pissing me off for years. But recently I started doing something to counter-act this. It’s worked nicely for me so far. My method is dumb-ass level simple: I set a timer on my phone for five minutes.

For five minutes — and five minutes only — I get on with the thing. And when the five minutes are up, I am free as a bird to do whatever the hell I like.

I told you it was simple. And I don’t know why it works. Part of me wonders why. A much bigger part doesn’t give a shit.

It works.

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