Stay in That Chair

Any creative task that demands continuous attention can make you impatient and desperate. You won’t necessarily quit – but you’ll search for distractions due to the inability to move.

You might feel like lying down, doing the dishes, having a pastry from the fridge, or go pee for the third time.

You’d do anything to avoid getting back to work, the dreaded work, that awaits you at your desk.

Why does it happen?

It isn’t hard to figure that you’re afraid – or perhaps timid due to insecurities.

The inability to produce even a single new thought fills you with dread. As long as you’re sitting there and thinking, you’re clasped by some agony.

Quitting every now and then feels like a nice way to escape this inconvenient state of mind – you’re freed from it at once. But when you return, you start at the same place, yet again.

So, what works when you feel so helpless?

It has something to do with persistence

Here’s what Steven Pressfield has to say about it:

If you want to write, plant your backside in front of the typewriter. Don’t get up from the chair, no matter how many brilliantly-plausible reasons your Resistance-churning brain presents to you. Sooner or later your fingers will settle onto the keys. Not long after that, I promise, the goddess will slip invisibly but powerfully into the room.

Now, you might be a programmer or designer, but the advice remains the same regardless: stay in that chair.

Ideas don’t always jump at us like popcorns or show up as some random rainbow. Often, we need to enter a zone or gain a certain momentum until something … clicks.

But halting our flow every now and then, even when we’re not working, obstructs our creative-muscles from warming up. That’s why people use Pomodoros and stuff – to avoid budging.

Hopefully, when we stick to our work, despite our impatience, the good work shows up. Even the simple act of sitting in our chair and persisting matters.