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12 Habits To Have If You Don’t Want To Be Productive At All

12 Habits To Have If You Don’t Want To Be Productive At All

Do you know that your productivity mainly depends on your daily habits, you do? What makes productive people productive. is the habits they follow every single dayYou can form positive or negative habits consciously or unconsciously. Meaning that the negative habits that you have unconsciously formed aren’t even your fault. I will later go over reasons why it isn’t your fault that you have some of these habits.

However I’m not taking the blame completely away from you. Some negative habits that you have formed are consciously formed. But that’s completely fine since you are a human being, we all make mistakes in our lives. On the other hand, if you continue to make the sama mistakes over and over again and expect something different to happen, then you have not learned from your mistakes.

You have to be constantly learning from your mistakes so that you don’t make those same mistakes again. Maybe you just need to tweak or do something slightly different to get a better result. That’s how we improve as human beings. And you keep improving to constantly get even better results.

On another note, don’t ever be too hard on yourself if you made the same mistake by accident. Like I said You are only human. We are not perfect. Be kind to yourself and just remind yourself to not do it again. Then move on with your day and simply enjoy life.

Anyways, before I start going off topic, I’d like to share 12 habits to have if you don’t want to be productive at all. (Learning from your mistakes is smart but learning from other people’s mistakes is even smarter.)

1. Checking your phone constantly…OH! Hold on I just got a text message.

Now there are tons of people who constantly check their phone and you might be just one out of many. But what if I told you that forming this negative habit is not completely your fault? Crazy right? You’ve been conditioned to associate that ringtone or vibration of your phone with a good feeling. So once you hear or feel something from your phone, you want to get that good feeling in your life which is understandable.

You feel good because you get to message or talk with your friend. In Pavlovian Conditioning, they accidentally discovered this very phenomenon. Then Pavlov tested this idea on dogs. Just note: dogs usually salivate when they see food. (For you: the good feeling you get from talking with a friend). But what Pavlov did was, he rang a bell right before he gave the food to the dogs. (For you: the ringtone or vibration you hear or feel before you check that message out).

Then after some time when the bell was rung, the dogs would salivate even when the dog food was no where to be found. The dogs have been conditioned to associate the bell with the dog food. (For you: You have been conditioned to associate that ringtone or vibration with a good feeling.)

So what now then? How do we condition ourselves to get rid of this bad habit? One way is to put your phone on silent or turn it off when you are working or whenever you don’t want to be distracted. If you get rid of the stimulus, it won’t trigger the reaction of wanting that good feeling.

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Now it won’t be easy at first, cause change is always hard to do because your brain doesn’t like change too much. So if you get that urge to just check your phone while working, just ask yourself this one question. Do you want to waste your precious time, which you will never get back, or do you want to make progress in whatever you want to do?

2. Checking your emails is a priority…hmm get rich and lose weight in 24 hours? I’ll just click that for a second…

Unless you have an extremely important email or subscribed to an amazing newsletter that improves your life, checking your emails should be the last thing you do for the day. When you check your emails, you should understand that you are wasting precious time and energyMeaning for some reason you don’t feel like working as much anymore after you checked your emails and clicked on 20 links. (exaggerating…or am I?)

Now I understand that some of you don’t want to have so many emails that are unopened or you feel like you will miss out on something. So what you should do is unsubscribe to emails that provide you no value in your life. Unsubscribe from emails that are there just for the sake of getting something out of you.

Next, for any important event, mark them down in your calendar or on a post-it note placed somewhere you will definitely see it. Some examples: On your computer monitor, on the mirror in bathroom, or on your desk. Or if you have a smart phone, you can place any important events in the calendar app.

3. Mixing work time and me time…wait a second, I just have to watch that new episode of House of Cards.

Sometimes you just want to drop whatever you are doing and just relax for a moment. However that “moment” turns into the whole day or more time than you expected for some reason. And I will explain why.

Sometimes you will associate work with a negative connotation and a majority of the people does, so don’t worry about that too much right now. But when you mix it with “me” time, which you associate with a positive connotation, the “me” time begins to take over and all of a sudden you don’t even want to work anymore.

People naturally dislike things that cause them to feel pain or be uncomfortable and want to move towards things that makes them feel good or comfortable. So when you mix work time with “me” time, you begin to shift more towards your “me” time since you naturally want to experience things that makes you feel good or comfortable. Think of it like this, which would you rather do, relax or work?

So what I do to fix this problem is I always work first because if you relax before you work, you will have an urge to relax more when you’re working. (It’s like a drug, when you get that first taste you just want more.) Another reason to always work first is to reward yourself for working by going into your “me” time. You earned it, meaning you got a lot of work done and you get to relax. (Win-Win Situation)

4. Constantly checking your social media…hold on I just got a notification from Facebook.

It was a comment on my new profile picture! Anyways forming this habit isn’t your fault either, like the first habit. (checking your phone) It has the same reasoning as the first habit, the Pavlovian Conditioning, and more. Basically the notification is the stimulus you associate with that good feeling, and all the same reasonings I mentioned as the first habit.

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However what makes checking your social media worse, is that you peek into the lives of other people, mostly your friends. And you begin to compare your life with theirs, which is never a good thing. One note: Successful people do not compare themselves with other people. They only focus on themselves and how they can improve themselves to get the things they want from life. They don’t care too much about what other people are doing with their lives because they are so focused on their path and their mission and their vision.

Anyways, if you are leading a life that isn’t as exciting or fun as some of your most extroverted friends, you begin to feel bad. And when you begin to feel bad you are less motivated to work, meaning you are less productive. (I will go more into this in the last habit.)

5. Winging it…no plan or strategy? Who needs them? Me? I just go with the flow.

Winging it or going with the flow is something you don’t do while trying to work or finishing any assignment. Now you might think it’s a hassle to come up with a plan or strategy and you just want to get it over with.

But you are doing a huge disservice to yourself. Having a plan or, even better, a step-by-step plan will significantly increase your productivity especially if the thing you are working on is a lot of work. The bigger the work, the more parts you should split it into with major steps you need to have done.

Just ask yourself what is a reasonable amount of major steps needed to get this work done. Then ask yourself what major things do I need to complete the first step. Then write those down and fill in the rest of the minor details if needed.

6. Multitasking…I’m just texting my friend, writing this article, checking my emails and Facebook, reading articles from lifehack.org (obviously), eating lunch, and learning how to lose weight.

As you see with this very long sub-heading, multitasking can overwhelm you fast. You might think you are being productive doing all these things at the same time but you are doing more harm than good. I can go into all the scientific reasonings behind this but I’m going to keep it nice and simple.

Basically you are splitting your focus more and more as you perform more tasks. So if you are doing two tasks, you are splitting your focus into two. If you are doing three tasks, you are splitting your focus into three. And so on. Imagine how horribly you’d perform if 1/3 or even 1/2 of your focus was on your work. You begin to make simple mistakes that you would never make if you put your complete focus on that task.

You fix this horrible habit by placing your complete focus on one task at a time. Focus on only one task and exit everything out. Now if you do things one at a time and you plan ahead, you seem to have a lot of time left on your hands.

7. Having a huge To-Do List…I have like 15 tasks…what’s on Netflix?

Now you might think you are being productive having a huge to-do list because you are constantly working. But when the day is starting to end and you still haven’t even checked half of your to-do list, you will feel overwhelmed.

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When you start feeling overwhelmed you just want to quit. And when you want to quit, Netflix starts to look like a safe haven. So what you should do is have a to-do list that is around 3 – 5 tasks of the most important things you need to do. And if you finish those tasks early, you can add more tasks depending on how much time you have left.

8. Being indecisive…hmmm should I go to the gym or not…

Being indecisive can makes the most productive day into one of the most unproductive days. You start going through all pros and cons until you finally make a decision. You might be thinking that carefully thinking about your decision is extremely important but there is a limit.

If you carefully think about a decision for 15 minutes, then you will probably feel lethargic and tired. The longer you go through the pros and cons, the more it eats up your willpower, energy, and motivation.

So how can you fix this? Now most of the decisions we have to make don’t require us to think about it for a long time. So when you are about to make a decision, get a timer. (on your phone or just look at the clock) Set it to 2 – 4 minutes and decide within that time limit.

Now if you have to make an important decision, write it down somewhere, and finish your work first. You want to finish any work you can because this decision will take a large chunk of your willpower, energy, and motivation. You don’t want to work without willpower, energy, and motivation. (I will explain further in the last habit.)

9. Being sleep deprived…sleep? Sleep is sooo overrated these days. Coffee is all I need.

Now you might be sleep deprived from working way too much. You might be thinking more work = more productive. But if the work interferes with sleep, then something has to change. Being sleep deprived is like being drunk. Do you think you can be productive when you are drunk?

So how can we fix this issue? First, you have to sleep a minimum of 7 hours and a max of 9 hours. So schedule your bedtime! Figure out what time you have to wake up and work backwards. So if you have to wake up at 10am then you have to the sleep at 3am but you can sleep at 1am. (If you want to be really rested)

Also note that you shouldn’t be using any electronics before you are about to sleep. It will be a lot harder to fall asleep. So you should meditate 15 – 30 minutes before you go to sleep to help you fall asleep.

10. Procrastinating…I’ll let the tomorrow me worry about that big assignment due tomorrow.

Now this one is just obvious but so many people procrastinate. But do you know why people procrastinate? Well I already listed a majority of the reasons. (indecisive, sleep deprived, huge to-do list, checking phone and social media) But mainly people feel overwhelmed when they want to procrastinate, and unless they feel any urgency they won’t do the task they need to do.

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So how can we approach this problem in a smarter way? Well you can break that assignment that makes you feel overwhelmed into smaller doable steps. The bigger the assignment the more steps there will be. (obviously) Then you plan when you are going to finish each of these steps. If you get like 24 small steps then you want to spread out the steps over the week. I’m sure you can do 3 – 4 steps each day. So by the end of the week you finished that big assignment.

11. Trying to be productive all day…got my 10 cups of coffee and my giant to do list, it’s game time!

Ever tried to be productive all day? I bet you felt great! Just kidding. I bet you felt worse and worse as time seemed to only slow down. But you are probably thinking you are really productive with all the work you are doing.

If your brain is constantly working non-step, your productivity over time decreases because you are not meant to be constantly working. You are not a robot, you are a human being! Unless you want to start to become groggy, then question the meaning of life, and then start seeing and hearing things that do not exist, don’t work non-stop.

Anyways what you want to do is to include 15 – 45 minute breaks between 1 – 4 hours of work time. Mix this with #10’s solution on big assignments and you are golden.

12. Working in a negative state… there’s so much work to do! I’ll never get it done!

Now that I got that out of the way, many of us are guilty of this at least at one point in our lives. And it doesn’t even have to be caused by your work. It can be caused by anything that makes you go into a bad mood. Once you are in a bad mood or in a negative state your productivity plummets.

Your productivity plummets because your motivation is essentially nonexistent. And when your motivation is nonexistent, you don’t even want to work at all or perform at your best. Meaning you work a lot slower.

Think about it, who is more productive and essentially better. Person A who is in a negative state (bad mood, unmotivated, or depressed) or person B who is in a positive state (excited, pumped, motivated and feeling great)? I know for a fact that person B will be more productive and better. So how do you shock yourself into a positive state if you are in a negative state?

Well you do anything physical. But first imagine the last time you felt happy and just smile remembering that moment. It’s been proven that if you smile, its really hard to be mad unless you fake your smile.

Now here are some methods to shock yourself back into an amazing state:

  • Go outside and sprint for 1 – 2 blocks while thinking about something that made you really happy. (And I mean sprint like you are in the Olympics!)
  • Listen to music that makes you feel happy or excited and just start dancing and/or singing
  • Give a victorious shout like you just won the gold medal in the Olympics.
  • Do any kind of fast and sudden movement like a karate chop.
  • Jump and scream for joy like you just lottery

So now you got all the tools you need to be productive as hell. Go out there and kill ’em with your productivity!

Featured photo credit: When You Don’t Want To Be Productive via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 24, 2020

17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

In the movie The Matrix, everyone was intrigued with the ability that Neo and his friends possessed to learn new skills in a matter of seconds. With the incredible rise in technology today, the rapid learning in the movie is becoming much more of a reality than you realize.

The current generation has access to more knowledge and information than any before it. Through the internet, we are able to access all sorts of knowledge to answer almost every conceivable question. To become smarter, it’s more about the ability to learn faster, rather than being a natural born genius.

Here are 17 ways to kickstart your Matrix-style learning experience in a short amount of time.

1. Deconstruct and Reverse Engineer

Break down the skill that you want to learn into little pieces and learn techniques to master an isolated portion. The small pieces will come together to make up the whole skill.

For example, when you’re learning to play the guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

2. Use the Pareto Principle

Use the Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80 20 rule. Identify the 20% of the work that will give you 80% of the results. Find out more about the 80 20 rule here: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

Take learning a new language for example. It does not take long to realize that some words pop up over and over again as you’re learning. You can do a quick search for “most commonly used French words,” for example, and begin to learn them first before adding on the rest.

3. Make Stakes

Establish some sort of punishment for not learning the skill that you are seeking. There are sites available that allow you to make a donation toward a charity you absolutely hate if you do not meet your goals. Or you can place a bet with a friend to light that fire under you.

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However, keep in mind that several studies have shown that rewards tend to be more motivating than punishment[1].

4. Record Yourself

Seeing yourself on video is a great way to learn from your mistakes and identify areas that you need to improve. This is very effective for any musicians, actors, speakers, performers, and dancers.

5. Join a Group

There are huge benefits to learning in a group. Not only are you able to learn from others but you’ll be encouraged to make progress together. Whether it’s a chess club, a mastermind group, or an online meet-up group, get connected with other like-minded individuals.

6. Time Travel

Visit the library. Although everything is moving more and more online, there are still such things called libraries.

Whether it’s a municipal library or your university library, you will be amazed at some of the books available there that are not accessible online. Specifically, look for the hidden treasures and wisdom contained in the really old books.

7. Be a Chameleon

When you want to learn new skills, imitate your biggest idol. Watch a video and learn from seeing someone else do it. Participate in mimicry and copy what you see.

Studies have shown that, apart from learning,[2]

“Mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them.”

Visual learning is a great way to speed up the learning process. YouTube has thousands of videos on almost every topic available.

8. Focus

Follow one course until success! It’s easy to get distracted, to throw in the towel, or to become interested in the next great thing and ditch what you initially set out to do.

Ditch the whole idea of multitasking, as it has been shown to be detrimental and unproductive Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

9. Visualize

The mind has great difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That is why athletes practice mentally seeing their success before attempting the real thing[3].

Visualize yourself achieving your new skill and each step that you need to make to see results. This is an important skill to help when you’re learning the basics or breaking a bad habit.

Take a look at this article to learn how to do so: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

10. Find a Mentor

Success leaves clues. The best short cut to become an expert is to find an expert and not have to make the mistakes that they have made.

Finding out what NOT to do from the expert will fast-track your learning when you want to learn new skills. It is a huge win to have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

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If you need help learning how to find a mentor, check out this article.

11. Sleep on It

Practice your new skill within four hours of going to sleep.

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, is a noted rapid learning expert. He says that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics are ingrained at a quicker level.

12. Use the 20-Hour Rule

Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magic number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill.

His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.[4]

Check out his video to find out more:

13. Learn by Doing

It’s easy to get caught up in reading and gathering information on how to learn new skills and never actually get around to doing those skills. The best way to learn is to do.

Regardless of how unprepared you feel, make sure you are physically engaged continuously. Keep alternating between research and practice.

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14. Complete Short Sprints

Rather than to force yourself into enduring hours upon hours of dedication, work in short sprints of about 20-30 minutes, then get up and stretch or take a short walk. Your brain’s attention span works best with short breaks, so be sure to give it the little rest it needs.

One study found that, between two groups of students, the students who took two short breaks when studying actually performed better than those who didn’t take breaks[5].

15. Ditch the Distractions

Make sure the environment you are in is perfect for your rapid-learning progress. That means ditching any social media, and the temptation to check any email. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

Before you sit down to learn new skills, make sure that potential distractions are far from sight.

16. Use Nootropics

Otherwise known as brain enhancers, these cognitive boosters are available in natural herbal forms and in supplements.

Many students will swear by the increased focus that nootropics will provide[6], particularly as they get set for some serious cramming. Natural herbal nootropics have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions to improve the mind and learning.

Find out more about brain supplements in this article.

17. Celebrate

For every single small win that you experience during the learning process, be sure to celebrate. Your brain will release endorphins and serotonin as you raise your hands in victory and pump your fits. Have a piece of chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back. This positive reinforcement will help you keep pushing forward as you learn new skills.

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The Bottom Line

Learning a new skill should be exciting and fun. Whether you use online courses, real world experience, YouTube videos, or free online resources, take time to learn in the long term. Keep picturing the joy of reaching the end goal and being a better version of yourself as continual motivation.

More Tips on How to Learn New Skills

Featured photo credit: Elijah M. Henderson via unsplash.com

Reference

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