The Myth of ‘Just do it’: Thought and Effort in Expert Action preface


Restricted just-do-it (monitoring)



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Restricted just-do-it (monitoring): For experts, when all is going well, optimal or near- optimal performance proceeds without monitoring one’s own bodily movements. Moreover, when all is going well, monitoring interferes with expert performance and should be avoided.
At other times, I shall argue against just-do-it with respect to conscious control:

Restricted just-do-it (conscious control): For experts, when all is going well, optimal or near-optimal performance proceeds without conscious control over their own bodily movements. Moreover, when all is going well conscious control interferes with expert performance and should be avoided.
And so on.

When context makes it unnecessary to specify that I am speaking of, say, the restricted just-do-it principle with respect to monitoring, or the extreme view, I leave off these qualifications. Moreover, at times I refer to the just-do-it principle, whether in the restricted or unrestricted form, as simply “just-do-it.” And since talking about “just-do-it” over and over would be (and is most likely already getting) rather tiresome, I need another way to quickly sum up what it says. Thus, following Descartes, who used the term “thinking” to broadly cover doubting, understanding, conceiving, affirming, denying, willing, refusing, imagining and perceiving, I shall frequently refer to the retinue of mental processes that are excluded on the just-do-it principle as simply forms of thought.

With this in mind, let us look at the various parts of the just-do-it principle, since some of the subsequent discussions will apply to one part but not another. The first part of the (extreme) principle, which is purely descriptive, can be expressed as follows:




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