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5 Reasons It Pays To Trust Your Gut

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5 Reasons It Pays To Trust Your Gut

Decision-making is a fundamental part of life and of human experience. We make and take decisions, big and small, every single day. But what’s the best way to make decisions – using facts, experience and data, or trusting your gut?

It’s an age-old question, one we’ve never really been able to answer. That quirky urge, the unusual tingle, an angel on your shoulder, that little voice in your head – these are all signs of gut feeling. But should we rely on these little signs to navigate our way through this thing called life?

Here are 5 reasons you should trust in your gut when you make decisions, whether they’re big, life-changing ones like buying a house, getting married or on a bit smaller in scale, like what to have for breakfast or what to wear on a night out.

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1. Trusting your gut could get you ahead at work

It comes as no wonder that many of the most well-known business minds, from Richard Branson to Steve Jobs, have vouched for the power of instinctive gut thinking for make decisions. Jobs himself famously said:

“You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Looking to your gut rather than your brain could well help you in your career. This infographic from gaming experts 888 Casino shows that intuitive decision-making can be effective as much as 90% of the time. 62% of business executives say they rely on gut thinking to help them make key decisions

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2. It could help you spot a liar

Want to yell: ‘Liar, liar pants on fire!’ and be sure of it? Trust your gut. Research has found gut instinct is better than our conscious minds when it comes to spotting fibbers. The study found, perhaps surprisingly, that instinctive, automatic assumptions could well be more helpful when spotting truth-avoiders.

3. It could help you sort the wheat from the chaff

It seems first impressions really do count. It might be possible, using gut instinct, to weigh up whether a person is a good egg or not, in a matter of seconds – 10 to be precise, according to social psychologist David Myers, who wrote the book ‘Intuition: Its Powers and Perils.’ His book argues that early humans who could quickly detect whether a stranger was friend or foe were more likely to survive.

“If you don’t trust somebody, even if it turns out to be inaccurate, it is something to pay attention to,” intuitive psychiatrist Judith Orloff told Care2.com. “If you’re walking down the street at night and you get the feeling ‘stay away from that person,’ just cross the street.”

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4. Gut instinct could help you spot your soulmate

Sometimes you meet someone and they literally take your breath away. When it comes to relationships, instinctive intuition could well be the best watermark for figuring out if the person you’ve just met is someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with…or not. The Casino infographic shows that, with 80% accuracy, it takes just 3 minutes to work out whether a couple will stick together or end up getting divorced. So when it comes to soulmates and spirit animals, trust your gut.

5. Intuition could guide you through life

You might be familiar with the book ‘The Dice Man’, which is about a psychiatrist who decides to make his life decisions based on the casting of dice. In the end this gets him into all manner of trouble. He would have been better off trusting his gut, because in general, making decisions on gut instinct alone can help you make the right call up to 90% of the time.

It really does pay to trust your gut.

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Featured photo credit: maggiedent via maggiedent.com

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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