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The art of stopping (in the moment)

I find it hard to stop things (working, reading, listening, watching, exercising) at the right time. Sometimes I’m blissfully unaware of the time passing, but more often I have the feeling of “I should probably stop before I am late for the next thing / the kids go crazy / I will be forced into an unpleasant rush / I will be underprepared / people will be unimpressed / I will be tired tomorrow,” – but still stop later than I should.

The urge to do “just one more” chapter / email / point on the agenda / article / lap / blog post is powerful… and the ability to overcome it will be beneficial in terms of avoiding all of the above, and with an added benefit of Hemmingway Effect momentum when you resume whatever it was you were doing.

My three step program for getting better at this will be:

  1. Paying attention to moments of transition;
  2. Reminding myself not to discount the future* as much as I seem to, because I will be paying later;
  3. Becoming more comfortable with leaving things partly done.
  4. Paying attention to the payoffs.

This doesn’t sound very scientific, but not very much of my life is.

If you have this problem and try to do the same, let me know how you get on.

*As in “hurry in five minutes doesn’t seem as bad as stopping now.” – even when it’s actually worse.

1 thought on “The art of stopping (in the moment)”

  1. This is helpful thanks Stu. Great example of something never taught but so important when it comes to managing workload and indeed life

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