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If You Want To Be Much More Successful, Learn These 4 Skills (People Would Be Impressed!)

If You Want To Be Much More Successful, Learn These 4 Skills (People Would Be Impressed!)
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Sometimes, our lives seem to be so routine and we find that our actions are so repetitive that we forget to put thoughts into our actions. We just do the same things over and over and do it the same way that we have been doing it for a long time. We also often procrastinate, putting off simple things that are in front of us to do for later. We also tend to let technology do everything for us, lessening human efforts. Technology is a good thing, but forgetting to use your human, natural ways of doing things is not good.

You should not rely on technology to make you a more efficient person. Below are 4 tips on how to use your natural skills to turn you into a more efficient and successful person.

1. Use the CAR and STAR approach.

When you are in a job interview, do not answer like you are answering a text message. That means, do not give short and abbreviated answers. Instead, use the CAR approach or the STAR approach in answering the questions.

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CAR stands for Context, Action, Result. An example is:

Question: How do you handle stress at work?
Context: Working as an accountant, there are times when you look at numbers on the computer screen too much and it starts to make your brain tired.
Action: So, I pause for a few minutes, stretch, get up and walk to the break room to get water or a drink.
Result: Getting up, stretching and walking physically help distress. And drinking water or coffee gives me new energy to get back to work and work on numbers again.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Interviewers use this to predict future behavior. An example is:

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Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a situation when you had handled an irate customer.
Task: What task did you have to achieve?
Action: What did you do and why?
Result: What was the outcome of your actions?

2. Consume and create.

Have you ever held a book only to find yourself looking at the summary because you did not want to read the whole book? Turning consumption into creation means that with every piece of information that you consume, you should create something out of it. For example, in reading an article that you see on Facebook, you should read it with focus and concentration rather than hurrying to get to the end of it. You should let yourself absorb the information, and that way you are are actually creating information. You consume by reading, and create by absorbing.

3. Take notes by hand.

Let’s face it, nowadays we use the keyboard more than we use pen and paper. And that necessarily is not a good thing. When we take notes using a laptop, computer or your tablet, we do type in more information because we type much faster than we can write. When we take down notes through writing, we tend to write less because we write slower than we can type and we tend to catch up with what we are listening to. Yes, we write down less with pen and paper, but with this we are more selective with what information we write and this makes us process more information. The extra-processing of information improves our learning and retention. So in short, writing is better than typing in learning.

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4. Use examples, but understand the root of it.

To help yourself learn, do use examples. But what will help you learn better is understanding the logic and mechanism behind the example.

Example:
1 + 2 = 3

Understanding the logic of the example:
a + b = c

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If you understand the logic, the next time that you are presented with the same problem but with different figures, you would know what to do. You would know that 2(a)+3(b)=5(c) because you would know that to get c, you would ned to add a and b.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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