Many of us can inadvertently fall prey to force-based systems of work.

How easy is it to fall into such systems?


I’ve got that report to write. It’s due on Friday.

Both irritated and grateful for a deadline, you know that having one will kick you into gear if need be.

It’s Monday. I’m fine… for now. I don’t need to do this *right now*. It’s important but not urgent.

Maybe you *do* have other important things to do – the car broke down, the cat marked the rug, time with the kids, …

So you tell yourself that you’ll get to the report soon.

So you walk up to the white board on your refrigerator or get out the latest and greatest app dedicated to clearing out your day and look beautiful and write in large letters:

“Write report”

With a momentary sigh of relief, you reflect,

I’ll see this again. I can let it go for now.


The pressure gently builds. You get a call from friends who invite you out.

How often does that happen?

You’re stressed. Today’s work day was rough.

Maybe you consider “being nice to yourself” and head out for the evening, and spend some time with friends.

Self care and social events are undeniably important, too.

But before you go, you see that note on the fridge and think to yourself,

“I really need to do this. But, I still have time. It’s Tuesday. There’s still Wednesday and Thursday to go.”

“I know what I’ll do. I’ll put it in bold and maybe circle it a different color and write ‘Friday!’ next to it.”

You head out, have a good time, and …


You wake up, mind foggy, the report hazily somewhere in the back of your mind,…

You can’t do it now anyway. You’ve got to get ready for work.

I *will* get to it tonight.

Grumbling your way out of bed, you head out the door, and eventually return home from work, mind fully jumbled by the day’s events.

As you get to the closet, you move that one out of place thing. Then you move another. Soon, you’re knee deep in a full closet reorganizing project.

This needed to be done. It’s been on my mind forever.

And it’s finally a thing you can focus on and feel good about. Maybe it will give you the momentum you’re looking for, too.

Then again, maybe you dive so deep you forget about not only the project, but to even eat dinner along the way.


A dread fills your mind.

“Uh oh… the report… OMG – it’s due tomorrow – and I haven’t started!”

And the mad scramble begins.

> “Why couldn’t I just start this before?!”

What Happened?

What happened? Each step seemed to make sense, but somehow they added up to this fight-or-flight moment the night before.

It’s one which we often, consciously or unconsciously, use to force ourselves into the work.

– Kourosh

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