How to "get in gear"

motivation Mar 29, 2019

It's super simple and easy to "get in gear" and start working on whatever you need to do.

In short: "Start with the main thing."

But there's a lot of confusion around this phrase, specifically with the words "start with". It means don't do anything else at all before the main thing. Don't even take another breath (if possible) before starting the main thing. Don't eat. Don't use the bathroom. Don't say another word. Do the main thing right now. Got it?

Then, after you are doing the main thing for awhile, you can do a little something else. But because you started with the main thing, everything else you do is just taking a break! Just get back to the main thing soon.

On the other hand, if you started with something else instead, that's called procrastination. And that will never get you anywhere. Sometimes quite literally, you'll be right where you are; only valuable time will have passed.

By way of example, there's an easy and smooth maneuver in flying airplanes called the Chandelle. It is used to escape "box canyons", otherwise known as dead-end canyons. Quite simply, it's how to turn your plane around 180 degrees with a minimum of wasted space.  That's something critical when flying where there is reduced maneuvering room.

The maneuver is performed by turning and climbing at the same time. The turn is what you really want to do, and the climb slows the airplane's forward motion and tightens the radius of the turn, so you keep clear of the canyon walls. Got it?

But you have to start with the turn first, even if it's just for a few seconds. If you start with the climb first and then turn, then it's a completely different maneuver, and it could be the last one you make. (You have to keep living or they don't let you fly anymore. It's kind of a rule.) The point is, you have to start with the main thing first.

Back on the ground, time is our most precious resource. The equivalent to a lack of maneuvering room is your calendar and the limited time that you have in a day, or a week, or even your life. If you want to get things done during your time, then start with the main thing first, even if it's only for a few seconds.

For example, write down the day's goals before your feet hit the floor in the morning. Check your email on the way to the bathroom. Pay the phone bill before you eat. Express appreciation as the first thing out of your mouth. Workout before you check Facebook. Whatever your main thing is that you are trying to achieve, do that first, as in really first.

So start with the main thing first, enjoy your breaks, and get a lot done!

Image: Chandelle from FAA Publication FAA-H-8083-3A (Airplane Flying Handbook)



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