Beat Writing Resistance with the First Domino Technique

falling dominoesIn working with Writers, as many of you know, I often place a lot of emphasis on framing the attention on very specific tasks. Our first Academic Muse eBook is all about that obviously.

But there is IMMENSE power in going EVEN SMALLER.  We can get even more specificker (yes that can be a word, if we really want it to be), especially when we want to get over resistance and get started working. This technique is awesome for that.

The first domino technique—here is an example I bet you can identify with.

I bet you might identify with having trouble exercising regularly. Strange thing for me is, not even six months ago, I was great about exercising regularly. But since starting Academic Muse it has fallen away, while in fact this body needs it more than ever to survive all the work. So it hasn’t been consistent for the last few months, until I identified a domino.

Some background: I have no time to go out and instead exercise with really cheesy videos at home. Let’s not speak of  them. But let’s just say I am lifting some weights and have a weight bench folded in the corner of the room.

Before, and for quite a while lately, I might toss and turn a lot about whether to get started. Often it so happened that the not starting wins. Then, I suddenly discovered that “doing a work out” is the wrong thing to contemplate.

So instead I just get the weight bench out and set it in front of the TV. No strings attached. That’s all I am doing, just putting the bench out.

That’s my domino. And if there’s another it is turn on the video. Don’t have to do a single rep. But more often than not, it’s already in motion, the dominoes are hitting each other. I am far more statistically likely to exercise now, with the bench out, than sitting in the chair wondering if I am going to exercise.

The same thing can be true for a writing habit, a meditation habit, for anything. We don’t have to do it all—just the first domino. What is that domino? For some it might be putting a cup of coffee next to the laptop. Or setting up a desk. Or getting on the bike to go to the café. It might be opening the laptop (I know—maybe not specific enough!) or it might be opening the file.

Find your domino. Identify your domino. Frame your domino in your attention. And hit that domino. No strings attached. Remember it only works in the long run if you have permission for letting anything happen—which means some days you say … nah… anyway.

This works great for those periods when we can’t seem to get started, and strange deferrals keep happening one after another (they are also dominoes, of another sort!)

Actually as I am writing this part of my mind is contemplating exercise. That’s a kind of friction we don’t need. Cross purposes. So I have told myself that after this I will put the bench out.

So now I am free to write the last last lines:

Find that domino. Be specific.