The Power of Momentum

Posted by on Apr 2, 2011 in Productivity Tips

The Power of Momentum

Have you seen the movie Unstoppable? It’s a movie about a huge train gone wild with no one controlling it.

That train had massive momentum and it was very hard to stop.

It is of course also very hard to move such a big mass into movement from static state.

That’s because when an object is static, it is also affected by static friction – compared to the object in movement which is only affected by kinetic friction.

Why the heck am I talking about physics and friction on a blog about internet marketing? 😉

Because when it comes to productivity, things are almost the same in physics and working from home.

It’s about momentum.

When you move an object, it will have a momentum. That means it will continue going for a while even when there is no force to push or pull it.

When the object is not moving, it takes more force to get it moving than it takes to keep it going at certain speed.

It’s exactly the same with your work and productivity. It’s hard to start working from nothing.

It takes much more effort to start working than to continue working.

It’s also quite easy to continue working even though you’re not really exerting too much force to keep working. In fact, the momentum of work often takes you longer than you planned.

You might even have a late dinner because you got pulled into work.

Much of this happens below your awareness that’s why I am writing this post so that you’re more aware of the power of momentum.

The momentum does not affect you only in the same day – for example a couple of hours.

No, the momentum can last for months or longer once you get into it. If you plan your work for every day and start working on your business at 9 AM and do that for 3 hours – and repeat that for a week, you’ll find it much easier to continue this rhythm the next week.

The momentum will give you the energy to work as there will be no need to overcome the “static friction”.

So how can you consciously use this information?

1. Realize that it’s harder to start doing anything than it is to keep doing it.

That’s why you need to push yourself a little just to start. Starting this blog post was much harder than it was to keep writing it and finishing it.

2. Know that when you have the momentum, it’s best to use it for more and better productivity.

Don’t use breaks too often in your daily work period and don’t take too long vacations when you have large projects to complete. It’s going to be very hard to get started again and since you’ll have to overcome the “static friction” again.

So I think it’s best that as soon as I publish this post, I keep the momentum and start working on something else…

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Plus

    6 Comments

  1. Getting going is definitely the hardest part. I’ve found setting a timer for a short length of time – say 10 minutes – makes starting a lot less daunting. Often I’ll keep going past it.

    Also, don’t worry about quality. Just get started and clean it up later. As you say, once the momentum’s there, it’s easier to keep working, so improvements often happen naturally.

    Good point you make about keeping going and not taking too many breaks once you get underway with it.

    [Reply]

  2. I personally have found that there are certain times of day that I naturally have more “momentum” and find it easier to concentrate, I find I am far more motivated and I find I create far higher quality work in a far shorter space of time than when I try to “force” myself to work.

    Becoming aware of this I started testing out working at different times of the day and for differend periods of time.

    Occasionally my girlfriend finds it a little frustrating (“no, I can’t get groceries just now – this article has to be written!”) but I can now “feel” the momentum building up and I try to capture that time to make the most of it.

    Personally-speaking this tends to be the first few hours of the day – often before any “normal” person is awake. I literally get up, turn on the computer and start working. A few hours later the momentum drops markedly and I then “start” my day with a run, breakfast etc. But that “predawn” period is where 90% of my best work comes from.

    Tomaz – is there a time of day where you find your motivation is at it’s greatest?

    This has been a key productivity tool that I use on a daily basis.

    [Reply]

    Tomaz Reply:

    @Richard: I work best in the mornings – from around 9 to 12. Then I might have another period of good focus from 5 to 7 PM.

    Of course, it depends on motivation too. When I was focused on becoming free, time did not matter. I worked focused as soon as I had some free time. (I was in a job at that time.)

    [Reply]

  3. I’ve got some good momentum built up in the past few years. When the alarm clock goes off now, I never hit the snooze. I just get up, don’t think about if I’m tired or not, and get ready for work. This definitely wasn’t the case four to five years ago. It takes time, but now I am determined to make every day count. No lolly-gaggin’

    This momentum carries over into what I do outside of my regular job, writing for the internet. I’m going to keep the momentum going right now and continue working on an article for you Tomaz!

    [Reply]

  4. Tomaz,

    What a great reminder! Thank you for that little push. I am now going to start working on my ebook that needs to be finished.

    [Reply]

  5. I find when writing for site #1, I experience static friction as soon as I tell myself to switch to site #2, especially if I haven’t worked on it for a few days.

    So something that works for me is to stick to a schedule. On Monday, write for site #1, then without having to think about it, the momentum carries over to Tuesday when I’m scheduled to work on site #2, and so forth.

    Okay, I better go so I don’t lose the momentum…

    [Reply]

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *