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8 Tips to Stay Motivated When You’re Ready to Quit

8 Tips to Stay Motivated When You’re Ready to Quit

There you are, in the middle of it all, just staring off into space. Once you snap back to reality, you look down at what you’re doing. All of a sudden you need a break, to stretch or whatever—just something to get away.

You’ve become so antsy in your chair. You know you have to finish but for some reason you just can’t get your head back in the game.

So you continue to stare off into space. Hey, it was pretty entertaining the first time around.

Mom is not around anymore.

You’ve completely trailed off course. This is usually the point where your mother would intervene and get you back on course. But you’re a big kid now. Mommy isn’t around to make sure you finish your homework. You’ve got to get it all done yourself.

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But what just happened? You got over what you thought was the biggest hurdle, starting, and now you can’t finish. You lost steam mid-task. Somewhere down the line you lost the motivation to see the task to the very end. At this point, you’re probably not too interested in completing it at all. You’re pretty much ready to quit.

But you know you have to get it done eventually. And you originally carved out the time to do it now. So somehow you have to do what your mom always did, but a little differently.

You’re going to see this task through by maintaining your own motivation. Long gone are the days when someone else motivated you. You’re on your own now kid. And this is how you’ll pull it off.

1. Be happy.

Kind of odd, I know. But think about how hard it is to do something when you’re miserable! You can’t tell a miserable person anything. So if you’re unhappy you’ll have your work cut out for you when it comes to getting anything done.

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Regardless of how you feel at the moment there is a reason somewhere to be happy. Focus on that reason and the other wonderful things around you. The happier you are the more positive work you can do.

2. Expect mistakes.

By now you should know that they are a part of life. Of course you should minimize them whenever you can. But no one expects you to know every single thing at one time, so mistakes are going to happen.

And that’s perfectly fine, as long as you don’t use making a mistake as a reason to throw in the towel. Better yet, use your mistakes to your advantage.

3. Be present.

When you’re staring off into space you tend to think about everything except for what’s going on now. Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past isn’t going to help you one bit in the present. In fact, it’s taking you away from it. Regain control of your thoughts and focus on what you’re supposed to be doing now.

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4. Clock it.

When you have to complete a task that is less than thrilling, determine how long it will take and clock yourself. This will make sure that you’re making the best of your time and reduce the allowance for distractions. There’s nothing like working against a deadline to kick your butt in gear.

5. Think about the results.

You do things for a reason. You take on a task because you want to get to the end result. Remember that.

Feeling less than motivated to continue? Remind yourself what it’s all about, why you’re doing it in the first place. Then, the motivation will come.

6. Reward yourself.

Remember when your coach would take the team out for ice cream after a win? You probably spent the whole game thinking about all the toppings you wanted to put on your cone. That’s what motivated you to hit that home run. Who cares about a trophy when you can have your own personalized ice cream cone!

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You should continue to reward yourself the same way as you finish different tasks. But I wouldn’t recommend eating ice cream every single time you complete something.

7. Keep track.

When you don’t realize how much progress, you’ve made you can easily convince yourself that quitting is a fine choice. Think about how annoyed you’d be when you realized that you quit after you’ve done so much work and were almost done. Keeping track of your progress will motivate you to hit another milestone.

8. Consider the cost.

Not completing a task means giving up on something bigger. Ask yourself, if you gave up now, what would it cost you? Sometimes fear and pain are the most powerful motivators. They can compel you to begin again when nothing else works.

Look Mom!

Once you master these tips you’ll become a certified finisher. You’ll be able to get more done and be successful at whatever you take on. Nothing will get in your way. Make your mother proud!

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.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

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