Newton`s law of getting stuff done is a book published in 1687 by Sir Isaac Newton titled, “The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”, which described his three laws of motion, and in the process, laid the foundation for classical mechanics and redefined the way the world looked at physics and science.
What many people don’t know, however, is that Newton’s three laws of motion can be used as an interesting analogy for increasing your productivity, simplifying your work, and improving your life.
Permit me to present this analogy as Newton’s Laws of Productivity.
Newton’s First Law of Productivity
First Law of Motion states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. (i.e. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to remain at rest.)
In various ways, procrastination is a fundamental law of the universe, says Newton’s first law applied to productivity. As stated above, objects at rest tend to remain at rest.
So then, what’s the best way to get started when you are stuck procrastinating? According to Sir Isaac Newton, the best rule of thumb for getting started is the 2-Minute Rule. And the 2-Minute Rule adjusted for productivity states that, to get over procrastination, find a way to start your task in less than two minutes. This rule is not concern about you finish your task but get you started, and keep moving. And once you start it, you`ll discover that it`s much easier to keep moving. For example:
- Assuming right now you may not feel like going for a run. However, if you put on your running shoes and fill up your water bottle, that small start might be enough to get you out the door.
- Or, right now you might have a creative block and be struggling to draw something. However, if you draw a random line on a drawing sheet and turn it into a dog, then you might get your creative juices flowing.
Motivation usually comes after starting. Look for a way to start small. As stated above, objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
Newton’s Second Law of Productivity
Second Law of Motion states that the vector sum of the forces on an object is equal to the mass of that object multiplied by the acceleration vector of the object, F=ma (i.e. Force equals mass times acceleration.).
Here`s the breakdown of the equation, F=ma, and how it can apply to productivity.
There is one very important thing to note in this equation. The F, which is a force, is a vector. Vectors have to do with both magnitude (how much work you are putting in) and direction (where that work is focused). In simple terms, if you want to get an object accelerating in a particular direction, then the size of the force you apply and the direction of that force will both make a difference.
You know what? It’s the same tale for getting things done in your life.
If you really want to be productive, it’s not merely about how hard you work (magnitude), it’s also about where that work is applied (direction). This is true of both big life and small daily decisions.
For instance, you could apply the same skill set in different directions and get very different results.
Newton’s Third Law of Productivity
Third Law of Motion states that, as one body exert a force on another, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body. (i.e. Equal and opposite forces).
All of us have an average speed that we tend to perform in life. Your typical levels of productivity and efficiency are usually a balance of the productive and unproductive forces in your life — more like Newton’s equal and opposite forces.
If you want to become more effective and more productive, then you have two choices. The first option is to increase your productive force. This is in other word known as “the power through its option”. You just gut it out, drink another cup of coffee, and work harder. This is why a number of people take drugs that help them focus or watch a motivational video to pump themselves up. It’s all an effort to increase our productive force and break the unproductive forces we face.
Clearly, you can only do this for so long before you burn out, but the “power through it” strategy can work well for a brief moment.
The second option is to get rid of the opposing forces. Adopt a Simple lifestyle, learn how to say no, change your environment, minimize the number of responsibilities that you take on, and otherwise eliminate the forces that are holding you back.
If you minimize the unproductive forces in your life, your productivity will glide forward naturally. It’s like you magically eliminate the hand that has been holding you back.
Joseph is an author who likes to contribute to a variety of blogs. Joseph is married with one beautiful daughter. He lives with his family and writes to inspire productive life and financial freedom. And above all, he is a promoter and a champion of human well being.