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Want To Make Quick Progress In Life? You Should Feel Uncomfortable At Least 10 Times A Day

Want To Make Quick Progress In Life? You Should Feel Uncomfortable At Least 10 Times A Day

“You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy

You’re in a meeting with your colleagues and senior executives. The senior staff is brainstorming ways to streamline processes and become more efficient. The PERFECT solution hits you with such force and clarity you have to fight to maintain your composure. This is your moment. You will be the company hero. Your colleagues will idolize and adore you. You will get a raise, promotion, and the coveted corner office with that fantastic view. And that cute redhead you’ve been dying to ask out will not only notice you, but will be the one to ask YOU out.

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Then comes the big moment. The company Vice President completes her spiel and then asks, “Does anyone have any suggestions?” And you freeze. You’ve never spoken in a meeting before. What if your suggestion is really not genius but utter stupidity? You miss your opportunity and to add insult to injury, Bob from the mail room chimes in with your exact suggestion. He becomes the hero, gets the promotion and the girl.

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

Being uncomfortable is something you have to learn to embrace. Putting yourself in new and unfamiliar situations stimulates the part of the brain[1] that releases dopamine, nature’s happy drug.

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The most significant catalyst in the growth process is embedded in discomfort. Challenging your capabilities[2] is what expands them. Most of us back away from things that make us feel uncomfortable—it’s natural. We shy away from the unfamiliar, but then later kick ourselves over missed opportunities. Comfortability brings complacency. It inhibits your ability to grow, your thinking, and your creativity.[3]

The familiar and routine make you feel at ease and provides a sense of control; however, rigid consistency and the refusal to steer away from a routine can dull your senses. Think about your normal drive into work or school. You drive the same route repeatedly. Eventually, the turns become automatic and you start tuning out most of the drive. You become oblivious to the scenery or the subtle changes that have occurred along the way. You arrive at your destination and barely remember the drive. So the underlying message here is, when you don’t get out of your comfort zone, you will tune out and miss so much in your daily life.

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Step out of your comfort zone at least 10 times per day

The key here is to be intentional. Look for opportunities to put yourself out there a bit. Speak up in a meeting, have lunch alone, strike up a conversation with the stranger in the elevator, take a different route home. Do something different. The benefits are immeasurable. By intentionally working to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation your world becomes bigger and possibilities become endless.

When you identify and decide to try something that makes you feel a bit anxious follow these steps:

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  1. Start: The first step is always the hardest. Go for it and see what happens.
  2. Don’t Quit: You will feel awkward. That is natural and it is how you are supposed to feel. So you feel a little foolish, just go with it.
  3. Laugh at yourself: It’s a new experience, you are going to make a mistake. Expect it, embrace it, and laugh about it.
  4. Surround yourself with cheerleaders: The company you keep is so important. Surround yourself with measured risk takers who encourage you to try new things and cheer for you when you do.

Being uncomfortable is just that—it’s uncomfortable. It is scary and involves risk. You may look silly, and you may even fail, but you’ve learned something and have experienced the unknown.

Feeling uncomfortable? That’s proof you’re doing it right.

Reference

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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