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

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

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 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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