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One Question to Decide Whether Quitting Is Better Than Carrying On

One Question to Decide Whether Quitting Is Better Than Carrying On

Quitting at something almost universally seen as a negative. Certainly, there are times when quitting can be a good, like giving up smoking for example. But generally speaking, quitting something is seen as a loss. Even if it is something we don’t find rewarding, or something we don’t enjoy, quitting something always feels like a personal setback. But sometimes, quitting something can be the first step towards the road to success.

In 2016 Neil Sheth quit his job. For ten years he was a successful investment banker in Goldman Sachs in London, but he wanted more. So he launched a business on the side, focusing on digital marketing. But he found he was unable to focus as much time as he liked on it, so he took the plunge. He quit his job.
Within a few months, he had not only secured some free time (no more morning commute!) but started earning a considerable income.[1]

He isn’t the only person to quit as a way of achieving success, take for example Sarah Grove who quit her job as a kiteboarder to start a successful online health food magazine, or Catherine Wood who quit her job as an economist for the federal government to become a life coach, and in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg left his studies at Harvard to focus on a little website he and some friends were working on, a site called Facebook.[2] All these people are quitters, and all these people are happier, and more successful because of it.

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    The question to ask yourself

    Of course, quitting isn’t for everyone, and at times it can be hard to know if quitting something is even the right decision. To help determine whether quitting something will be beneficial, it is important to ask yourself this very crucial question:

    Is what I’m doing helping me get to what I want most?”

    Only you can know the answer to this question.

    Time, ultimately, is finite. So, if you have something you strive towards, or something you dream of doing or having, there is a risk that your normal 9-5 job isn’t helping you but actually hindering your progress and taking up important time.

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    That said, quitting does not need to be as drastic as it sounds, you could consider it to merely be you changing your direction. Indeed some successful people (like Richard Branson) stress the importance of building bridges, instead of burning them, staying in touch with the people you worked with instead of moving on from them.[3]

    The significance of the question

    Life, and the world is full of distractions. Unless you’re not fully focused on your goal, it can be easy to lose track of it, or run out of time to meet your goals in life. Have you ever had to cancel something you were looking forward to because work got in the way? Or put aside time to do something, only to discover that you filled that time doing other, less important things?

      You might have even dropped something you were enjoying because you had already put a lot of time into something you weren’t enjoying, but didn’t want to see that time wasted. This is an example of sunk cost bias, the mistaken belief that something is worth sticking with just because you invested a lot of time into it, even if you didn’t like it, or enjoy doing it.[4] It is the cause of many bad relationships, hurt feelings, bad books read, and years of wasted time.

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        If you’re stuck in a job you don’t like, quitting can seem a terrible prospect just because you’ve spent a lot of time there. Really, you should see that as time spent not working against your goal. The sunk cost bias then is costly. The best weapon against it is the question.

        The benefits of the question

        The above question allows you to take a step back and fully assess what you’re doing. In asking this question you’re also asking yourself:

        • “Why am I doing this?”
        • “Is this adding value to my life?”

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          It makes you ask yourself what your goal is, and whether what you’re doing is working towards that goal. If the answer to those questions is yes, then fantastic! You’re doing great!

          If the answer is no, then maybe you should ask yourself is what you’re doing worth doing if you want to achieve your goal.

          There is a much debated theory that suggests it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something.[5] If this is true (some say it takes less), if your goal is, for example, to learn a new language or instrument, then you could be losing a great deal of that time doing something that doesn’t contribute to it at all.

          The question reminds you of your true purpose, whatever it may be, it brings it back in focus, and once it is, you’ll be able to better understand how to reach it. To strive for it, and if necessary, quit or drop some unnecessary things to achieve it.

          Reference

          More by this author

          Leon Ho

          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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          Last Updated on March 17, 2020

          4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

          4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

          Are you bored at work right now?

          Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

          You’re not alone.

          Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

          Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

          That’s right.

          Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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          Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

          Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

          VIDEO SUMMARY

          I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

          When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

          It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

          However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

          That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

          So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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          Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

          We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

          Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

          Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

          Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

          We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

          Let’s do this.

          Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

          Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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          Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

          Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

          Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

          For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

          Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

          Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

          Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

          For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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          Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

          Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

          Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

          You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

          Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

          Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

          Rewards could include:

          • Eating your favourite snack.
          • Taking a walk in a natural area.
          • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
          • Buying yourself a small treat.
          • Visiting a new place.
          • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

          Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

          Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

          Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

          Reference

          [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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