Sleep by DonBLC 123 from The Noun Project

Sleep by DonBLC 123 from The Noun Project

Simply starting a project can be the biggest barrier to productivity. Enter the Zeigarnik Effect, which can be used to accelerate your creative process. Alina Vrabie, a writer for Sandglaz’s blog, explains the effect:

The Zeigarnik Effect means good news for procrastinators: you are less likely to procrastinate once you actually start a task. You’re more inclined to finish something if you start it. So how do you actually get started? It depends on what kind of procrastinator you are. If you’re likely to procrastinate because you’re faced with a big project, then don’t think about starting with the hardest chunk of work. Start with what seems manageable in the moment. You’ll be more likely to finish the task simply because you started.

It’s human nature to finish what we start. Gregory Ciotti, author of Sparring Mind, adds that the resulting dissonance from an incomplete experience is precisely what happens when we become engaged in a story in a compelling book, movie or TV show – “we want to see how it ends.”

Vrabie ends by stating that the Zeigarnik Effect shows us that the key to beating procrastination is by “starting somewhere…anywhere.”

Read her full post here

  • organizedandstalling

    Do you know how many projects I have started and not finished? That’s my kind of procrastination…never finishing anyth…

    • Alan

      I use the intuitive list system. Since I’ve been using it I have started to paint my daughter’s bedroom-had that on my list for a year, fixed the punctures on their bikes, more than a year, bought a camera, bought hoover bags, listed stuff to sell on ebay, and have started loads of other projects. Amazing.

      • maraki

        what the heck is this system and where to I learn more about it?

      • Bert

        It’s based on Taoism whereby everything has an underlying connection and if we relax into a situation and not push the action we take will be effortless.

        So for instance if you were waiting for my reply because you thought it would fulfill your needs or if I was enthused to reply that would be pushing the action.

        It doesn’t mean that you don’t put in the work or that you quit when you get frustrated it just means that you leave it up to chance to decide when you work on a particular item on your list.

        This is what I do. If I get a thought that I want to do something, for instance paint a room, I put it on my list. I then decide to work on my list. I use the I Ching-I use an online one- and visualise my notebook as being connected to the energy of the universe and then create the hexagrams The numbers of the hexagram decides the number task i will do on my list. I then do the task until I feel I’ve had enough and go onto the next one. If a task is not completed I leave it on the list: if completed I cross it out.

        That’s it. Replying to your email came up a minute ago, hence the reply.

        The thing I like about is that subjects that I am initially enthusiastic about come up again and again. It helps me realise that skills are not learnt in a week or even months and some things could be on my list for the next ten years.

        This may sound a bit new age but it’s based on the idea that finding fulfillment is not a linear activity and that we may not know what will make us happy so leave it to chance.

  • Jack Trainer

    Dude…You have no idea how leveled up on procrastination I am EVERY DAY! It is now almost 10AM EST and I have been surfing the web, downloading some music, anything BUT working on my current 10 projects…SO THERE…SO HATE IT

blog comments powered by Disqus