Productivity is so much about organization. Flowing from one thing to the next without running into an obstacle and fraying you off the path into disillusionment is SO vital to progressing forward and getting things done. For us, then, it is insanely important to keep things together, reduce clutter, and manage mess.
The older we get, and the more accomplished we wish to be, the more convoluted our days become. Nine to five work. Six to eight PM commute and gym. And until bedtime — all of our excess spent on personal projects. It wears on you – but in a good way. You come home and you’re absolutely spent, and you want nothing more than to revel in that fifteen minutes of lounge where you drop everything, eat dinner, and put your feet up.
You drive up the hill to your place and nothing else matters – only that radiating glow coming from your sofa. This feeling – and what it causes – is what I deem “landing inertia” – the pull of laziness that takes you in before impact, and sucks you into the sofa as you land.
Sofa King Lazy
For me, the three minutes of landing inertia right when I got to my apartment was responsible for 95% of its messiness. I’d throw down my backpack, remove my jacket and throw it whatever, and randomly splatter my personals (keys, wallet, etc) wherever landing seemed possible. If I had just got back from the gym, I’d likely have just eaten and would put my garbage somewhere sporadic around the apartment. And why? Because that sofa was awfully appealing – and because I had predetermined, a few minutes from the apartment, that an instant pounce onto the sofa was inevitable.
But it’s not. It shouldn’t be.
If we, as thoughtful, intelligent human beings, decide to delay the landing inertia by even five minutes, the impact can be substantial. What if you consciously decided to forgo laziness for even sixty seconds after making it through the door? More than the messiness you’d prevent, it’s more than likely that you’d forgo Lost on television or some stupid reality show on the TiVo, and move on to more worthwhile matters.
If you committed to five minutes, there’s a good chance one of those minutes will cause you to progress into something more productive, and you’ll have beaten the landing inertia. Your house will be cleaner, and you’ll be more efficient.
Landing Inertia in Nature
Beyond the applications within your home, landing inertia also occurs elsewhere. Some of the time, it’s positive. You experience positive landing inertia when you approach Las Vegas by car on a road trip, or fly in to France for the first time. You expect positivity right when you land, and it’s pretty much impossible that it won’t hit you as you do.
But negative landing inertia happens in other places, too. When at the gym or with a specific goal in mind, you will often times complete your workout, and then head home – even if the workout didn’t sufficiently exhaust you. Most of the time, having a specific workout in mind can push you further than you thought previously, but it can work both ways. By being aware of that landing inertia feeling that causes accomplishment even if there really is none – you can channel yourself to push beyond what some workout sheet expected you to.
Be wary, though. If you start pushing yourself harder in the gym, you’ll end up getting pulled more forcefully by the landing inertia at home. It’s an ebb and flow type thing – but don’t worry. Landing inertia isn’t gravity – you can stop it from pulling you to the couch.
Beating the Beast
Landing Inertia isn’t that hard to overcome, once you’re aware of it. Like most things, it really just needed a name, and an awareness of it’s occurrence. So next time you’re on your way back from a long day, tell yourself “I’m not almost home. That happens five minutes after I walk through the door.” If you can psychologically delay arrival, even by five minutes, your life will change for the better, you’ll be in better shape, and your messy house will thank you for it.