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Kick Start Your Productivity When All You Want To Do is Resist!

Kick Start Your Productivity When All You Want To Do is Resist!

We all know how awful it feels when we are unproductive; demotivated, and just plain lazy! How often do you feel like that? Would you love to know exactly how to change that around? You will come across thousands of tips and tricks to beat procrastination and start acting; but unfortunately, even with all the advice out there; not many people do!

Working as a productivity coach, my job is to get my clients to take massive action aligned with their goals. Sounds simple, right? NO! You can’t imagine how much resistance people come up with when they start to change; and if it isn’t managed well; it can throw somebody straight off their path and they might just give up completely.

Don’t let this be your story! It isn’t easy to change; that is true; but it is easier than you think if you have the right tools and support in place. Here is what you can do to kick start your productivity when all you want to do is resist.

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Knowing the two parts of your brain

You need to balance your ‘thinking brain’ and ‘your pleasure seeking part’ of the brain. The very first thing you need to know is that you have two sides fighting inside of you, you know, the one side which wants to procrastinate and the other side that wants to change.  Put simply, your Limbic system or ‘pleasure seeking part’ of the brain is so strong, it is always working and all it wants to do is anything pleasurable, from having fun, to eating, to sleeping, to relaxing, etc

The Prefontal cortex is the ‘thinking part’, which allows us to plan, to set goals, strategize, etc. Unfortunately for us, this part of the brain is not on automatic and it gets tired very quickly and easily! That is why you find it easier to ‘give in’ to the pleasure rather than take action ‘on what you want’, at a very basic level. You need to understand how your body influences your desires to change. So now that you know that…what does it mean?

3 things you must do to break resistance.

1. You need the right energy

This might sound obvious, but it is one of those ‘what seems like common sense’ isn’t ‘common practice’ things. There are two parts to managing your energy. The first part is your physical energy – you need to be full of energy to perform your best. We all have peaks throughout the day, but do you know how much your energy impacts productivity? Something as simple as 1% dehydration reduces your ability to focus, concentrate, and think clearly. Don’t expect to eat unhealthy and feel productive – it’s crazy!

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The second part is that you must never plan to do tasks at times that you know you might be feeling tired, interrupted or not up for it. You should plan around your energy cycles, when is the best time to complete this? If you plan a task when you are not at your highest energy, you will find yourself resisting.

2. You need the right intentions

To create change; the best way is to connect what you are doing to your values; making it important for you. If we don’t see the value in something, we resist doing it immediately. Ask yourself, why is this so important for me? What will it mean if I achieve this? What will it mean if I don’t?

The point is that: many people take action on ‘should’ and ‘need to’ but not ‘want to’. This alone creates resistance. You might have all the best intention to go the gym, let’s say you really should and you need to, but do you really want to? It is your job to identify what you really want and only set tasks that will bring you to your future goals.

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Too many people try to take action on things that in fact, maybe they don’t want or are for someone else, and they wonder why it’s not so easy. You need the right intentions.

3. You need commitment to carry out your challenges

You can have all the intention in the world to do something, but you also need commitment to carry out these intentions. Sometimes motivation alone won’t cut it! As you know, you need to build your discipline muscle to take action, this is when you listen to your ‘thinking’ part of the brain. Every time you listen to the ‘weaker’ part of you, that voice becomes louder. And every time you listen to the stronger side of you, that voice becomes louder.

I’m going to be direct with you, sometimes you will need to do things you don’t want to do, and you will need to get out of your comfort zone to get different results. No one else is going to create them for you, so get disciplined in creating what you want. Do what you don’t want to do now, so you can have what you want later in life.

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The simple fact is, most people want more in life, but they want it to be easier and it isn’t, so they give up. People who have created the lives that they love and who have the results that they wanted, deserve it, because they know that results are on the other side of comfort. They know that challenge is growth and growth is success.

If you want to beat resistance, make sure you feel great, you can clearly see how important this is for you and then just do it. Quit the excuses, stop listening to the weaker side, and if you are serious about living a better life, then work for it. Your reward? Your dreams come true – is that not worth it?

Featured photo credit: Juliette Leuffke via unsplash.com

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated) How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make How To Break the Procrastination Cycle Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) How To Control Your Emotions Effectively

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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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