This post resonates with me. There’s some overlap in strategy with something I posted in an older thread. I sometimes go even further than not trying to perfect, and have to intentionally try to be terrible as a strategy:
For creative work my favorite strategy is a variation on what is sometimes called the vomit draft in screenwriting circles—intentionally create the laziest, worst version of what you are working on. The original vomit draft strategy is more about writing without stopping to revise or reflect or worry about the quality, but even that doesn’t go far enough to penetrate my procrastination. So I make it my goal to create a bad version of whatever I’m working on. The laziest tropes in writing, the worst programming practices in technical work.
The principal is the same: anything that gets you moving gets you headed in the right direction, even though it may not seem like it at first. But sure enough, at some point I can’t help myself and feel compelled to fix or improve my terrible work.
Instead of resolving to work on your project for an hour, resolve to work on it for a minute. Since the task is now much smaller, the barrier should be much smaller as well.
Even this can sometimes be too much of a blocker for me. I think, what’s the next step in this project, what should I spend that minute on? It’s an impossible ‘Ugh field’ I can’t break through. Luckly, there is still room to lower our standards. Instead of resolving to work, resolve to try to work. This is a lot harder to cheat, I know what effort feels like.
My other primary strategy is kind of boring, just biking and exercise. Mentally I feel a lot different after a lot of cardio.
(copy and pasted myself from https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/2mH7v5doDqoCZSn6z/not-useless-advice-for-dealing-with-things-you-don-t-want-to?commentId=SuEEMuRoXTgfjkhhD)
Fascinating! I’ve never come across this type of “vomit draft” advice before haha, and I’m not sure I’ve ever tried it either. (I’ll have to give it a go sometime.)
I think the “do it for 1 minute” (or 5 minutes) technique is pretty effective in most cases. Great tip to point out!