I added a little tiny box to my start-of-day routine. It's been miraculous.
I pick, at the start of the day, what's acceptable to procrastinate on.
From Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman's On Killing [emphasis added] --
When people become angry, or frightened, they stop thinking with their forebrain (the mind of a human being) and start thinking with their midbrain (which is indistinguishable from the mind of an animal). They are literally “scared out of their wits.” The only thing that has any hope of influencing the midbrain is also the only thing that influences a dog: classical and operant conditioning.
That is what is used when training firefighters and airline pilots to react to emergency situations: precise replication of the stimulus that they will face (in a flame house or a flight simulator) and then extensive shaping of the desired response to that stimulus. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response. In the crisis, when these individuals are scared out of their wits, they react properly and they save lives.
This is done with anyone who will face an emergency situation, from children doing a fire drill in school to pilots in a simulator. We do it because, when people are frightened, it works. We do not tell children what they should do in case of a fire, we condition them; and when they are frightened, they do the right thing.
Got a question from a reader who is ambitious and has had some successes, but feels erratic and like he's taken on too many projects that haven't borne fruit. My reply --
I recommend you take a notebook to a nice cafe with no technology and write down every major success of your life (major being however you define it).
Look for commonalities.
We often make the same mistakes over and over and our only plan is "try harder" -- instead, identify elements/features of when you've thrived...
From Alfred Thayer Mahan's 1890 Influence of Sea Power Upon History --
Mahan is encouraging the study of past types of warfare to predict the development of future types of warfare.
He distinguishes between precedent, which is how things have been done in the past, and principles, which "have their root in the essential nature of things... [and thus] remains a standard to which action must conform to attain success."