Motivation logo

Tricking Your Brain To Finish Large Tasks

There is a way to make your brain think that the work you're doing is quick and easy even while completing difficult goals or complex tasks.

By Conner SkaggsPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
Tricking Your Brain To Finish Large Tasks
Photo by Jef Willemyns on Unsplash

A few years ago I got into a conversation with a neighbor of mine about how he started biking to work every single day. It took him 45 minutes or so and he even did it even in freezing cold weather and bad wind. I asked him how he could even get out of bed knowing that he was about to go through such a difficult time every single morning. He told me he had to lie to himself.

At first, I was confused, it didn't make any sense to me how a person could lie to their brain to do something challenging. As he explained further I began to understand. He told me that before he went to bed he would check his bike to make sure it was ready to go for the next day. As he did this he would think "I'm just checking my bike to make sure it's in good shape, in case I want to take it out anytime soon"

As he walked back to his bedroom he would fill his water bottle and put his biking clothes as well as his work clothes somewhere where they would be easily accessible in the morning. In the morning he would get dressed in his biking clothes and put his work clothes in his backpack. As he walked out to his garage he would tell himself "I'm already in my biking clothes and I have my full water bottle, I might as well go to work on my bike today"

I was amazed, he would blind himself to any thinking that had to do with planning his bike ride. He focused on one step at a time and while he was doing that step he made sure that he wasn't thinking about what the step was leading him to. He did this every day. Think of the possibilities, what else could we apply this to?

By blinding ourselves to the giant amount of work that we have in the future, we are hyper-focusing on the steps that lead up to success. Large tasks can seem much more doable when we split them into more reasonable chunks. Using this form of self-reasoning is a good way to convince ourselves that what we are doing is something small, even though it's a step on the staircase to something much bigger.

To put this in another context, imagine having to read a 1000-page book. By reading the first page we can reason that another paragraph won't take long. The book is already open, we already started. Then why not one more paragraph? Then we might as well finish the page, then another page, and then half of the first chapter. Maybe the entire 1000-page book won't be finished in one day but our progress. But our progress is multiplied which means more reading per sitting and fewer sittings per book.

It's easy to become discouraged or over-stressed when starting new jobs, trying new things, or taking on more responsibility. Sometimes, the best thing that we can do is actually blind ourselves to the complicated process we are about to throw ourselves into and hyper-focus on what is convenient and at hand. Pushing to the side what we don't need to do yet and planning for our next steps by getting everything ready for them.

There are plenty of methods like this, it's about trying them out and seeing if they work for you. As someone who has struggled with motivation and finishing large tasks in the past, it works great for me. Sometimes it's better for us to not see the amount of work we will be doing until we're looking at it in the rearview mirror.

advicehow toself help

About the Creator

Conner Skaggs

Raw messages about life. Sharing questions that will make you think. Self-reflection, life hacks, and messages of hope and happiness. 1 year as a teacher.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

Sign in to comment
  • Mariann Carroll5 months ago

    Nice FYI to accomplish something we think my be difficult. I used this method for physical tasked. For mental complex , I used training to accomplish something ,I never mentally done before. Well written 🙂

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.