There have been any number of gurus and productivity experts out there who hawk their solutions as “painless” and “easy”. It makes sense to make a new system or app sound completely effortless, because it sells.
Unfortunately, if an app or system or hack really is effortless to use, then it doesn’t do anything.
Anything you do takes effort. Anything you do for the first time generates discomfort–sometimes huge discomfort (depending on your tolerance for change). If you’ve been driving a car for any number of years, then driving seems almost effortless, but there is some effort involved. You’re physically manipulating the controls and thinking about how to get to your destination, other cars, and road rules.
When you first learned to drive a car, the act of driving in traffic left you sweating and your heartbeat elevated. It took a serious amount of effort and mental discomfort to drive.
The hawkers of “easy” would be more truthful in their marketing if they said “there’s as little discomfort in using xxx as we could arrange.”
Because there’s always going to be some discomfort and effort, no matter what you’re doing.
Look at writing. No matter how long you’ve been writing books, no matter how many books you’ve completed, every writing session still produces an initial resistance to the discomfort of having to think. Hard. And make endless decisions. Writing is not a zero energy activity. Not even close.
Luckily, once you’re in flow, that discomfort disappears.
There is a productivity idea out there now that suggests that you should embrace discomfort.
There are a number of books about this idea, including The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self, by Michael Easter; The Science of Self-Discipline: The Willpower, Mental Toughness, and Self-Control to Resist Temptation and Achieve Your Goals, by Peter Hollins; and, indirectly, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.
Brian Tracy, in almost any of his books, but specifically, No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, has always insisted that embracing discomfort is the only way to get ahead.
This is where the idea of taking an ice cold shower every day came from: a cold shower is not fun. It’s anything but comfortable. But making yourself take a cold shower every day gets you used to the idea of being uncomfortable. (It also has some very interesting positive health benefits, but that’s beside the point.)
It is our modern powered-everything, environmentally controlled luxury lives that have trained us to think that we can achieve something without stepping out of our comfort zones and experience mental or physical discomfort.
Start thinking of discomfort as a good thing. It will radicalize your productivity.