Newton’s Laws of Motion has been a major headache and remain as a phantom pain in the heart of every student, especially those who had to delve deeper into classical mechanics to safely graduate their high school.
Fortunately, we will not be reminiscing about physics, at least not here. Instead, it is very intriguing that these laws have in fact, been very analogous to our daily lives, especially in terms of productivity problems
Now, how exactly does that work? Let us look into these laws one by one.
First Law of Productivity
‘A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force’ — Newton’s first law of motion.
Procrastination has been the major enemy of society. After all, it is ‘a body at rest’ that will ‘remain at rest’. No work will be done for as long as there is no external input. But hey, at least it works the other way too. The implication here is that procrastination leads to more procrastination, whereas action leads to more actions.
Most people who procrastinate will find that the moment they begin working on something, the urge to finish it will drive them to continue doing the work, and therefore ‘remain in motion’.
In other words, the key here is to start moving. A professional tip to do this is to use the 2-minute rule. The 2 minute rule is a principle to turn your plan into actions that take at most 2 minutes. For instance, turn ‘Working out in gym’ into ‘Change into sportswear’. The purpose of this small change is to motivate you to begin moving, and indirectly to continue your work.
Second Law of Productivity
‘The force acting on an object is equal to the mass of that object times its acceleration’ — Newton’s second law of motion.
In layman’s term, force is proportional to mass and acceleration. In our daily lives, we only have just enough energy to be productive. Let us define this energy as the force in the equation. In the same way, let our goal be the mass, and the pace in which we are working to achieve our goal, the acceleration. The faster the acceleration, the higher will our productivity be.
Middle school taught us that force is made up of a magnitude and a direction. The magnitude here is how much energy we have, while the direction is where exactly are we investing it in.
Putting all of these conditions together, we get the second law of productivity where to maximize the acceleration (productivity), we only need to input the right amount of magnitude (energy), but we also have to place it to the right direction (place).
Third Law of Productivity
‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’ — Newton’s third law of motion.
For every effort you put to move an object, there is an equal amount of resistance imposed on you. The heavier the object, the more force you have to put. Comparatively, the higher you set your goal, the harder it will be to achieve it.
To dream as high as the sky is a common teaching we learn as we grow up. However, when it comes to productivity, it is important to get things as clear as possible and as simple as possible. Having a set expectation for the long run without planning a step to step for it is unfortunately the opposite. A high expectation is a very motivating drive, however the enormity of the goal sometimes renders a complicating process.
As dictated by the third law of productivity, one way to get things done in the most productive and efficient way is to break it down into smaller pieces. The lighter the mass of an object, the easier it is to move. By taking step-to-step actions, the accumulation of these small pieces will amount to the larger goal set in the beginning.
We had (or have) dreaded it, ran from it, and yet, unbelievably our lives have been intertwined with it all the same. Sir Isaac Newton had somehow both published laws that are beneficial to physics and out lives. These derived laws may serve as some fundamentals to productivity and efficacy.
James Clear – Physics of Productivity
Dean Yong – The Inseparable Relationship Between Physics and Productivity
David Allen – Getting Things Done
Written By: Felda Everyl