Floss just one tooth every day. That’s not a big commitment. But it is what dentists tell people who have trouble remembering (or feel overwhelmed) when it comes to flossing.
Sounds lame, actually.
Flossing isn’t laborious. Pull out a twenty-four inch string of floss. Wrap one end around the index finger of your right hand, the other end around the index finger of your left hand. Work it between your teeth.
I just timed myself and the whole affair took me fifty-two seconds. And I was being particularly lifeless.
We don’t floss because we are lazy. And look for any excuse not to floss. This mindset holds for big projects. Take writing a book, for example.
I’ve got this side project I so want to finish. But, to be realistic, will involve at least a year or two of writing and research. That’s overwhelming. And the project only continues to grow. For every book I read I discover three more I want to read.
Add my mounting responsibilities at Copyblogger and, naturally, there is a logjam. I may go days without touching my side project. Unless I think about it like flossing just one tooth.
Why would a dentist tell patients to floss just one tooth a day? Because she knows once someone goes through the trouble of getting the floss out for one tooth, they are more than likely to floss every tooth. And flossing just one tooth doesn’t seem like a big deal.
So what I’ve committed to is at least 24 minutes every 24 hours. Even if all I do for those 24 minutes is re-read what I wrote the day before. That doesn’t seem nearly as daunting. And usually that’s enough to get me back into the momentum.
By the way, there’s nothing special about 24 minutes except that it mirrors 24 hours. Which makes it handy. Easy to remember. Cute you might say. Like your pearly whites (if, of course, you floss everyday).
What’s your gimmick to trick your mind into doing stuff it hates? Share in the comments.
Image by Alexander Rentsch