The Triple D's of Inertia

July 1, 2018

You know those times when you feel lazy, sluggish and bored? When you feel dull and tired, and not motivated at all? Sometimes those moments stretch into hours, or days. You procrastinate work, postpone deadlines and hesitate to make decisions.


You might call it a ‘bad day’, say you need another coffee or even blame it on the weather.

Sometimes, to make things easier, you stick with what you’ve done in the past, you don’t speak up or you don’t take what others say on board.


There’s a term for all of this, and maybe you’ve heard of it before in a science context – inertia.


Inertia is when a matter continues in its existing state, resisting a change in motion or rest.

When it comes to business, and our attitudes in the workplace, inertia results in rigid thinking and actions, leading to a lack of effort, passion and activity.


As you learnt from last week, it can ‘kill’ a business, as it traps employees, limits innovation and creates passive organisations, all of which hinder growth and competitive advantage.


Signs of inertia include:

  • Inflexible and rigid company values and doctrines, acting as anchors which cultivate passiveness and procrastination.

  • Tunnel vision in management, in regards to the organisational mission, sales and even it’s hiring process.

  • When relationships within and outside the business oppose even the subtlest of changes simply due to ‘this is how it’s always been’.

  • Evasion and discouragement of diverse and questions.

  • When employees ‘clock in and out’, with no larger motivation or purpose.

Overcoming inertia is therefore imperative to ensure you are a happy, efficient employee, and that the business you work with, or for, is also harmonious and innovative.


As motivation comes differently to individuals, and diverse personalities require different modes of activities to nurture productivity, we’ve created our Triple D steps to help you overcome your own inertia. One, or all three of these steps can be thought of as your very own call to action.


1. Discipline


It’s said that discipline is the fuel of achievement. If you’re the type of person who needs to feel in control and organised, this step is for you. When you find yourself facing inertia, roll up your sleeves and face it head on. Set a timeline for the task, create your own deadlines, adhere to the schedule you’ve created and hold yourself accountable.


2. Distract


You might be the type of person who is more efficient when given a little more time or space, and if you’re experiencing inertia, distracting yourself may be the best way to overcome it. You know the drill – go for a walk, get some fresh air and refocus your energy. While you may feel in a rut with one task, it doesn’t mean you can’t be productive in another.


3. Disrupt


Sometimes what is needed is a complete overhaul. If you change nothing, nothing changes. If there’s a chance for you to alter the task you are doing, or even approach it from an innovative, out of the box way, go for it. Be flexible with boundaries, allow yourself to take risks. This is also applicable to your routine – don’t be afraid to tackle life in a way you haven’t before.


Inertia can have immense power over individuals and businesses, but the next time you find yourself experiencing it, defeat it by taking action, and give one of these steps a try!

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