Momentum over action over motion.

We want to be more productive, get more things done, adopt good habits.

Sometimes we get into a zen-like flow that lasts for days but lose it after a while, uncertain how we got to it in the first place. We lose momentum. Things slow down.

We start thinking too much, comparing our current state of mind to the productive bliss we just had.

We realise we were focused, effortlessly producing a large volume of high-quality work. We grasped difficult concepts, distractions, chores, deep thinking without breaking a sweat. We were practitioners with skin in the game, progressively making behaviour more automatic through repetition.

That’s action.

Then there’s the opposite. There’s something we wish we did. Or, we fool ourselves with busy-work that seems like we’re making progress while we actually aren’t. Busy-work that’s procrastination in disguise. It’s spending time listing 10 ideas for blog posts instead of writing one. It’s reading top tips for losing weight instead of eating a salad. It’s making a list of books instead of reading the first 5 pages of one. It’s buying an expensive camera before making a film with your iPhone.

It’s about being bogged down trying to find an optimal plan for change.

That’s motion.

Motion is easy. It’s easy to be busy and always strategizing. Having strategy in place is critical, but once you do, it’s time to build. Only action can produce an outcome.

The more massive an object the more difficult it is to change its motion. That’s true in physics and in our ability to move from motion to action.

Motion means continuously moving, without direction, nowhere. While only action can produce an outcome, repeated action produces momentum.

Momentum is about getting more of what’s mostly right, rather than less that’s entirely so. It’s about getting the reps in.

Momentum > action > motion.

December 2, 2021