Yesterday I found myself approaching a tasks that I needed to complete with apprehension. I really didn’t want to have to do it because it seemed like it was going to be very difficult. My memories of having done it before we’re not pleasant because I’d forced myself through it while I was exhausted. That exhaustion made the task much harder the first time and that impression stuck with me, regardless of my energy levels yesterday. Depending on the day, that impression could have been enough friction for me to put off the task another day.

I have two ways to reduce the impact of these impressions of difficulty. The first is to avoid putting myself in a situation where I have to work on something when I’m exhausted. That comes down to better estimates, better expectations, and a better job at saying no to extra tasks. This is very difficult when I want to make sure a project is done right and want to spend the time to make sure it is. I’d much rather a project be late and right than on time and awful.

My second way to reduce the impact of these impressions of difficulty is to be aware of them. Sometimes that’s enough to overcome them. If I am aware that I’m feeling that way I can also repeat the task few times to show myself that it isn’t difficult.