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Time Management Skill - Momentum and Inertia

Time Management Skills - Momentum and Inertia

Mental Momentum and mental inertia are important concepts that all time managers should know about.


Inertia is a measure of a body's resistance to change.
Inertia represents the extra effort you must put into a system to just to start it moving.
For example, if you need to push a car, you have to push it really hard to get it to start moving.
However, once it IS in motion, then keeping the car in motion is much easier.

Mental inertia is analogous to physical inertia

You must have observed that, the people who are doing nothing are the hardest one's for you to get moving!
You've heard the old saying:

"If you want something done, give it to a busy man."
That also reads. "If you want something done, don't give it to an idle man".


Because those who are doing nothing, find it very hard to get themselves to do anything.
They are suffering from mental inertia.
The opposite of inertia is momentum.


Momentum is similar to inertia, but momentum is a positive factor:
Momentum is motion:
But not merely motion; it is the ADDED POWER possessed by any moving object, by virtue of it being in motion.
This means that something that is in motion is difficult to stop: something that is in motion has momentum and is likely to continue.

The strong get stronger, because they have the strength to act;
The rich get richer because they have the capital to invest;
The educated become more educated because they understand the language contained in the more advanced books.
So, if you are already winning, it is easier to win again.

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So now we can derive two new laws of time management:

  1. It is crucial you gain momentum!
  2. It is imperative that you cure yourself of inertia

Now here is the key question

How can mental inertia (a negative factor) be overcome, and be transformed into momentum (a positive factor)?

Here are the steps

Step 1 Decide to make this an issue

Decide to make mental inertia WRONG in your mind, and root out all instances of it.

Example: Rest and recuperation after a day's productive activity is good.

But lounging around for days on end watching endless YOU tube clips will cause you to lose momentum and fall into a state of mental inertia where you find it difficult to get going again.

Get the guy off the couch and give him something to do!

Step 2 Start small and gradually build

Gradualness is important.

Don't try to go from 0-60 in six seconds.

Momentum is more important than acceleration.

Just add a little more momentum, a little bit at a time.

Then gradually, the joints will loosen, the brain cells will begin firing again. The muscles will begin to warm up and start moving. After less than a week, you will observe a build-up of a good head of steam:

And behold!

His mental inertia will be gone and will be replaced by productive momentum.


Complacency comes when you think that your current progress is now the "new world order": the natural way of things.

Some champions make this mistake. They believe that they are innate champions, and they lose their momentum. They stop doing the things that led to their success in the first place.

In their next competition they are obliterated.
Don't be complacent.

Step 4 Momentum must be kept up by constant effort

Momentum, like any form of energy, dissipates, and must be kept going by a regular flow of new effort. Don't stop for too long.
Once you are progressing, keep bearing down on the task and capitalise on your initial investment.


Momentum and inertia are important concepts all time managers should know about

  1. Decide to make this an issue
  2. Start small and build
  4. Remember that the momentum must be kept up by constant effort

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