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Successful People Make Learning a Daily Habit Effortlessly by Mastering These 4 Tricks

Successful People Make Learning a Daily Habit Effortlessly by Mastering These 4 Tricks

It seems more and more difficult to find people nowadays who love reading books even when they are not forced to.

As soon as we get out of school, we are eager to reject any form of learning, including reading books of our own free will: never reading another book in their life seems to be true for one-third of high school graduates, and even 42% of college graduates follow their path. Very high percent of adults and families also shy away from going into a bookstore, buying a book, and not to mention reading it.[1]

We become so resistant to learning, as we perceive it as an obligation, and as soon as we say goodbye to our formal education, we think – that’s it, no more learning, thanks god. What we fail to understand is that constant learning should be an important part of our lives, as it doesn’t just provide us with knowledge, but improves many other skills and provides numerous benefits.

You Can Easily Reap These 4 Benefits When You Keep Learning

Constant learning can make us more adaptable to the challenges and changes at work and in life and better our problem solving skills

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There are constant changes happening around us, in our everyday life we see so many technological innovations, and you are probably constantly facing changes at your workplace, as every business needs to keep up with this fast-paced modern world. UC Irvine neurobiologists found that learning helps your brain function at a higher level, and thus making you more adaptable to changes.[2]

Learning can make us happier and healthier which helps fight dementia and brain ageing

Gaining knowledge constantly and learning new skills is not just useful, but it is good for your brain as well. A comprehensive study by Thomas Bak[3] dealt with bilingualism and brain ageing. His findings suggest that learning a second language, even later in life, can benefit your brain and delay dementia.

Learning can make us more confident and interesting, which helps with our interpersonal relationships

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Working on your personal growth gives you confidence to engage in social interactions and participate in any conversation, and freely express your ideas with newly gained knowledge. While constantly learning, you come across many interesting facts that you can share with others at social gatherings and thus form many new relationships.

Learning can broaden our views and help us make better decisions

By constantly learning, you are constantly expanding your knowledge base, and are therefore to able to see things from different perspectives. When you develop this ability to approach every situation from a different angle, you will be more confident when making new decisions based on all the knowledge you are continually gaining.

Lifelong Learning Becomes Effortless When You Turn It into a Daily Habit by These 4 Ways

Learning new things might seem as an obligation, but as soon as you learn how to incorporate learning into your everyday routine, the process will become effortless.

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Keep the big goal in mind but do the minimum work

It is normal to want to achieve significant goals when learning, but it might seem overwhelming when you, for example say “I want to learn a new language in 6 months”, and you force yourself to learn 50 new words every day. After a while, it will start to burden you, and you will quit.

The best practice is to have the main goal in mind, but try to break it into sets of smaller achievable goals, and you will thus feel like you are making progress and will be more eager to continue. Decide what you want to achieve in the next month, for example, and the minimum of work you need to do every day. When learning a new language, you can say that you want to read 5 pages of a book in that language every day.

Make use of the “if-then” approach to make your brain feel less burdened

When incorporating new habits, it is often difficult to stick to them and find the time during the day, since we always have something else to do and tend to forget that we planned to learn something. If you want your learning habit to stick, try to connect it with your current routines, instead of trying to change them completely.

To do that, you can use triggers. When you say “Today, I want to learn for one hour”, it is to general as you cannot associate it with any other daily routine. It would be better to say “When I finish having shower, then I will learn” and you will have a contextual clue that will trigger the habit.

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Eliminate excessive options

When having too many options it is difficult to focus on learning – you want to watch something on TV, or you can play some games, or listen to music. Make a decision which period during the day you will dedicate to learning, and set the time aside just for learning. At the beginning of every week make a plan what learning materials you will cover and stick to your plan. Once you get used to the fact that you learn during that certain period, you will do it automatically without thinking.

Don’t just think about the desired result – visualize the process

A study conducted at UCLA [4] found that when visualizing the process and steps you need to go through to reach the desired result, you are more likely to stay consistent. Just visualizing the result and the end goal can make it seem impossible and too far to reach. So, you need to take one step at a time, and first visualize the next step towards your goal, and once you are done with that step, visualize the next step and so on.

Reference

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, 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.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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