5 ways To Overcome Inertia

overcome inertia

Overcome Inertia With These 5 Hacks

overcome inertiaIn order to overcome inertia or to get “unstuck”, we have to think about the Law of Inertia. It states that any object has the tendency to resist a change in motion. It will need either a push or a pull to get it moving. It’s the same for us. In this post I’ll look at five ways to give yourself that push or pull and overcome inertia.

If you are an employee there’s likely to be someone there to give you a push or pull when inertia strikes. For the self employed however – and there are more of us than ever – it can be difficult to overcome inertia. It’s probably not going to come naturally. It’s not always something you can just “snap out of”. Hopefully these ideas will help next time you get stuck.

Push, Pull, Shock And Recharge

overcome inertia

  1. The Pull

Much like the old adage of the carrot on the stick, this is all about rewards. Give yourself a little reward after you complete a task you’ve been putting off. Make it something you would ordinarily do anyway (possibly to avoid that task) e.g watch an episode of Vikings or whatever else you may be currently hooked on. Make some cheese on toast (actually I’m using this right now to finish this blog😀) …. You get the idea.

  1. The Push

Tell yourself that you won’t do something more attractive (could be the examples above) UNTIL you’ve done the thing in question. Technically a variation on the pull, the push is well… pushier. More like the stick than the carrot.

  1. The shock

This idea is from a Pyscholgist named Kurt Lewin. His theory about how to overcome inertia was based on the idea that we can get “frozen” in place. We need to unfreeze ourselves and then refreeze ourselves in the shape – the situation – we want to be in. We can do this by shocking ourselves into action.

You could do that by asking questions like: What would happen if I don’t do this? How much will it cost me not to?

Overcome Inertia And Build Momentum

overcome inertia

  1. Form a scheduling Habit

Often inertia can be the result of a lack of schedule. Again, this is particularly relevant to the self-employed solopreneur working from home. It’s far too easy to fall into the bad habit of “busking it”: Going from day to day in a sort of piecemeal way.

It’s equally easy to get into the good habit of building a schedule. You break bigger tasks into smaller ones and create a schedule to get them done. You can use 1 and 2 above to help you stick to it.

  1. Recharge

Sometimes the battery is simply flat. You may need to recharge it with a break. Do something entirely different and come back to whatever is sticking you. Get some good nutrition, some exercise, a day or two off – any kind of pattern interrupt will do. Dwelling on the thing you are stuck on can often reinforce inertia rather than overcoming it.

We seem programmed for inertia. We say to ourselves “I know I should give up smoking”, just before we light up or “I know I should start my own business” then add the word “but….” And that’s that.

When we recognize and take steps to overcome inertia we move from stuck to momentum, and momentum builds into an unstoppable force.


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