Stuck between Motion and Action: Procrastinating isn’t the Right Answer

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Motion and Action

Motion and action, the two words that almost seem interchangeable but are not. The difference in the meaning of both words, though minor, makes all the difference. It is not uncommon for people to overlook this difference either. Just try to pinpoint the difference between them yourself, and you’ll find that the one element that sets them apart appears to be just beyond reach.

So, what’s the difference between motion and action?

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear ironically gives his definition that sets action and motion apart. He states:

“When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result.”

“Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.”

Anyway, as motion is both overused and overlooked, it’s a vital part of the whole process.

Without motion, you can’t have clear and defined actions. You’ll find that you’ll be constantly interrupted from your journey forward because you need to stop and think about the necessary steps to take in order to achieve your goal. Additionally, it’s the perfect time to analyze your goals and define your activities whenever you are in motion.

Why does it matter?

Many a time, it is normal for people to be stuck in the motion phase. However, they don’t realize this and keep planning, overplanning and are stuck in this endless cycle of being in motion. For instance, when writing a research paper, one needs to start writing at some point and can’t keep researching forever, in spite of learning so much.

So, while we stated that motion is important, on the other hand, it should not take much time out of our day, no more than 10 to 15 percent of the total time we spend on motion plus action.

You can start planning several time-slots differentiating between motion and action activities directly on your calendar.

Akiflow Tips

But beware of defining a clear output when you are in motion. It’s not about “let’s organize this or that.” It’s more of “complete this tasks list,” “delegate,” “set deadlines,” and so on, and when you’re done with motion, move to action!

How to take action?

You can pick any one of the millions of productivity methods available in the wild to take action. Nevertheless, James Clear recommends two techniques to go from motion to action, which is to:

  • Schedule your action
  • Fix a date to move from motion to action

By calling us out on our “productive” dawdling, James Clear has sure made his point on the difference between action and motion.

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

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