Architecture Room > Emergent Hierarchies > Overcoming Your Inertia

Overcoming Your Inertia

Introduction: This Tree is emergent from PH5-Communication, contains all the PH-L1 elements. It comes into play when appropriate performance is lacking in some aspect of living, with a resigned helplessness about whether you can stop the avoidance.

Emergence from PH5-Communication

PH5-Communication contains the principles governing thinking, understanding, and the formation of groups that share a consensual reality constructed by language. See posting. So why does it lead to a Tree of PH-L1 elements? It is difficult to be sure.

The PH-L1 elements are all pure means, and they are all based on action-RL1 with its pressure for performance and its dependence on time. So perhaps it is because we manage ourselves in this communication-generated reality so as to enable performance of essential activities.

Our very lives are circumscribed by time and so using time well is performing well enough to get things done. But life does not only consist of major creative projects (cf. Achievements). Just as important are getting lots of small things done to sustain the diversity of our needs. There are a myriad of activities, large and small, that may well seem trivial, irritating or even unwanted at times. Still, performing these activities remains part of life's challenges. They include:

• Handling family obligations and domestic tasks.
• Cleaning and tidying, clearing up after meals, washing.
• Attending to personal hygiene, grooming and dressing.
• Paying bills, tracking expenses and accounts, completing forms.
• Staying fit and healthy, eating and drinking sensibly.
• Keeping in touch with your friends and network.

Some everyday tasks may seem unpleasant, but they are not an unnecessary drudgery. With wrong thinking, such tasks may be mishandled and the more mishandled, the more they start to intrude and their necessity suppressed. Other comfort-generating goals get priority and this leads to continuing postponement and procrastination, often associated with time-wasting. At the extreme, the maladaptive behaviour seems like a neurotic compulsion, addiction (e.g. to social media) or an inhibition.

As the problems due to time-wasting and avoidance of simple and easily performed actions build up, that aspect of life may slowly get out of control. The end result is then a growing resignation and helplessness or despair. And for good reason, because loss of control may sometimes lead to serious personal or social harm.

Using time well also applies to the pursuit of optional goals, often referred to fancifully these days as 'pursuing your dreams'. These might involve activities like:

• Practicing a musical instrument
• Learning a new language
• Taking up bridge with a partner
• Creating a personal website
• Writing your memoirs or great novel
• Setting up a second residence abroad
• Spending more time with the family

Somehow such matters are continually talked about, but time passes and they do not come to fruition because time is used in other ways.

For both routine necessities and optional goals, there is the R+R option to Stop the Avoidance. That means overcoming your inertia. This involves a way of thinking and acting that is revealed by the framework comprised solely of PH-L1 elements which deal with performance (as explained below).

With this focus on performance, you can and must regard yourself as «everyman»—having so much to do and so little time to do them, just like everyone else.

Examples: Elements of this framework are the source for many blogs seemingly about goals and motivation, but actually about ceasing procrastination and avoidance and improving general performance. Typical titles are:  •What to do when you don't feel like doing anything. •Get back on track to achieve your goals. •The secret to life success: baby steps. •Make those New Year resolutions come true this Year. (Note that such blogs never deal with generating continuing success in substantial projects, running a business, or coping with time pressure generally: for that, see David Allen's GTD® system.)

ClosedMore on Life's Necessity: Using Time Well.

Using time well is obviously about getting things done. Time is precious at work and work duties can get mixed up with personal stuff. Sometimes doing everything when it has to be done can get overwhelming. But systems like David Allen's GTD® are only usable if you are already more or less on top of things.

It may be felt that time is saved by avoiding doing minor things. However, if these things are actually necessary, this is self-delusion.

•A scholar's intense involvement in work may lead to repeatedly postponing the calls of nature causing constipation and consequential ill-health. •Avoiding tidying and cleaning out clutter not only makes it difficult and time-consuming to find anything, it often wastes money on duplicate purchases, and can generate a fire hazard. •Neglecting the myriad bits of paper relating to income and expense records can lead to serious problems in future tax reporting.

In time-management systems, there is often a seemingly wise recommendation to "avoid the urgent and focus on the important". That is only correct with limitations: many non-urgent unimportant matters cannot be avoided indefinitely. As in the examples above, they eventually become either urgent or important or both.

If the issue is about getting started on what you are avoiding, and you do decide you are going to overcome your inertia, then you need to operate with a framework comprised solely of PH-L1 elements because they all deal with performance pressure, as explained below.

Why the Framework is all PH-L1s

Performance pressures exist when there are many things we can and should do. But stopping avoiding is more than just a matter of time-management because it entails recognition that there is an inertia to be overcome. Time must be allocated to performing a particular pseudo-minor activity—no matter what else of importance has to be done.

Investigations into the Root Projection to Primary Hierarchies suggested that PH-L1 elements (within their Primary Hierarchy) are constructed under a psychosocial pressure for performance (probably with a distinct neurophysiological underpinning).

The Tree framework constituted solely out of PH-L1 elements can therefore be expected to be dedicated to the effective handling of time and performance. Being a Root Tree, each level (KL•) will also retain its usual psychosocial pressures.

Note: The process here assumes that you willingly take small but genuine steps to get things done i.e. there is a strong link to Action-RL1.

ClosedConsider Alternatives

Renewal & Recovery

Summary Only: This is an abbreviated overview of the Tree with a focus on the Willingness element. A fuller account is provided in the next topic. Understanding the various Primary Hierarchy elements is assumed. For more details within the Architecture Room, review the relevant part of the Root Projection section.

The heart of the framework is KL4: Feel Good about Trying. The message from self-help blogs is loud and clear: just get started and then never give up; failure is not about falling down, but about staying down; there is no time like the present. All true, but trying is unlikely to be sustained if you do not feel good about it. If you keep avoiding, then of course you will not stop avoiding, so a deep readiness to try is crucial. It means you are taking the issue seriously as a valued or necessary aspect of your life. Past failures will have revealed that trying alone is not enough for performance, and that is why it requires feeds from other Centres.

Feeding into Trying from above are the 5 Centres that enable renewal of the endeavours-proper needed to stop avoidance.

Once you realize that you are no longer doing little things that have to be done, you have to take yourself in hand and pay much closer and strict attention to stimuli-KL7 that indicate when action is required. These serve as challenges to your trying.

The stimuli should engender variations-KL6 in yourself and that aspect of your life. They must focus the self-imposition of variations in your routine, i.e. new habits; and demand minor adjustments to various external time-related factors. Changes in habits show you are becoming committed, and adjustments to externals gets support for your trying.

Then you must observe-KL5 yourself and your surroundings and related events to understand what you are doing and why do not do things when you know you should. As you do this, your trying becomes realistic and ensures that you and others accept that you are indeed trying.

Feeding into Trying from below are the 3 Centres that enable recovery of control over your use of time for the issue.

Time-targetted tactical objectives-KL3 need to be devised in two ways. On the one side, the task must be made much easier (e.g. very short-term, but still relevant to the main goals) to ensure trying becomes credible. On the other hand, you must get incentives for your trying by devising small rewards for any progress at all.

Sensations-KL2 can be relied upon to provide the clue, even an unambiguous signal, that you are about to avoid as usual (e.g. a feeling of tiredness or irritation). Instead of suppressing or inhibiting the sensation, it should be used to energize trying-KL4. Pleasurable sensations accompanying or following actions also assist you.

Bypassing Trying so as to connect Renewal with Recovery. There are two levels essential for overcoming inertia effectively: your observations (KL5) and your tactics (KL3). Your observation of situations justifies your little rewards. Your observation of yourself validates the support for simplifying and shortening tasks.

Final Common Path: Specific action is the ultimate use of time and guarantee of performance. So movement-KL1, being simultaneously part of the needed activity, guarantees the whole process. You can activate physical activity to produce results in a way that confirms the relevant sensations which are your reference points, and which indirectly show that you are trying.


Initially posted: 21-Aug-2013. Last updated: 18-Jan-2015.




All material here is in a draft form. There will be errors and omissions. Nothing should be copied or distributed without express permission. Thank you.Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016. All Rights Reserved.


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