lunedì 26 gennaio 2015

How do I get over my bad habit of procrastinating? - 7


Shortest Answer: Understand how to create new triggers to influence behavioral change.
Short-ish Answer: Break down your current pattern of procrastination by investing in small successive actions. Next create a new trigger that you can associate with a specific responsive behavior. By putting this method into practice over time you will train your subconscious mind to take action almost automatically.
Long Answer:  We live in a society that is totally bombarded with distractions all the time. And now thanks to the internet, “we create more content in 48 hours than we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003”, according to Eric Schmidt CEO of Google.
That’s A LOT of YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook statuses, and tweets that will distract you every day.

Fortunately for you here is a time-tested productivity hack that will help you stop procrastination in just 5 minutes.

We all know how the domino effect works: “A chain reaction is that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then causes another similar change, and so on in linear sequence. It typically refers to a linked sequence of events where the time between successive events is relatively small” Wikipedia

Well the same rule is true for procrastination. The more time you invest in procrastinating, the easier it is to find more distractions and continue on procrastinating. So by procrastinating more and more, you’re simply digging yourself a deeper hole, a hole that will be ultimately impossible to get out of.

However, the same is true for being productive. The more you invest time taking small successive actions which require minimum effort towards what you ultimately want to accomplish, the easier it is to continue on your path to successfully accomplishing your goal.
The secret is to systematically break down your current pattern of procrastination by investing in small successive actions towards your goal.

Step #1 Remove Your Attention from the Activity

You have to stop investing more in what you’re currently invested in. Switch it off, close the browser and do whatever you have to do in that moment to remove yourself from the activity that is resulting in you procrastinating.

Breaking your mental state is crucial. It only takes a small amount of effort to remove your attention from the activity you’re currently invested in just for a short period of time.
The point is to break your pattern by stopping yourself from investing any more time in your current activity that is holding you back. Once you have  broken your mental state, you can move on to the next step of breaking your current pattern.

Step #2 Break Your Physical Pattern

Object in motion stays in motion. We all know that. So the next step is to break away from your physical state of inertia by removing yourself from your particular environment, hence furthering yourself away from your distractions.
Break away, if you’re in a room, leave the room. If you’re sitting at your study table, get your butt off the chair and go check for any unexpected surprises in your mailbox. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO REMOVE YOURSELF FROM YOUR ENVIRONMENT TEMPORARILY. If you’re in an office workstation, leave your depressing cubicle and go to the toilet. Even if you’re Bladder is completely empty. Even if your co-workers think you’re a freak for parading the rest-room every couple of hours.

So far you have invested in small effortless actions, that is, removing yourself from the activity and removing yourself from the environment (temporarily). Now, it’s time to move on to what you should be doing by creating a psychological trigger to completely break your current pattern.

Step #3 Implement a new trigger

The trigger could be anything and it should only last for a small fixed amount of time. The goal is to break your previous pattern of procrastination, and start over by investing in small successive actions towards the things you need to do.
Creating a new psychological trigger will enable you to completely break away from your old patterns, and allow you to recreate a new domino effect for the task you want to accomplish. The key is to create a specific responsive behavior that you can associate with your new psychological trigger.
For me the trigger I've used that tends to work best is doing a 5 minute meditation session. Once I've finished my meditation, the next action I associate with this trigger is to go sit down on my work bench and start working on whatever that is needed to be completed.

After weeks of continuously training my brain through practicing my trigger (and the associated responsive behavior), now my subconscious mind automatically associates this new behavior of sitting down at my workbench after doing a 5 minute meditation. Over time, this trigger has become so powerful that I don’t even have to think about my next action. It happens automatically.
But it doesn't have to be meditation for you. Any simple action that you can easily associate to trigger a responsive behavior will work just fine.
For example, a simple habit that you can use as a trigger could be going for a 5 minute walk up your street or getting a glass of water from the kitchen.
Getting out of your house and doing 20 push-ups in your front lawn. The more interesting and exclusive your trigger is, the more power it will be to influence behavior change.

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