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7 Ways You Haven’t Tried To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Things Done

7 Ways You Haven’t Tried To Stop Being Lazy And Get More Things Done

Want to stop being lazy? Not being lazy and doing work is one thing but doing work and actually being productive is another thing. A 24-hour day seems too short for an average human being especially those with hectic schedule.

To make the most out of the day from our work, career, or even vacation, we need to work smart and hard.

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Below are some tips to increase productivity and get more work done.

1. If you are in college, take down notes, reminders, and exams’ schedule.  Take down everything from the lectures of your professor to the reports of your classmates.

College student have to study their courses and memorize notes for exams, quizzes, and assignments. Remembering bits of information is not an easy task especially if there are other things you need to worry about. According to research, writing down information will let you remember it easily. This lets you know in advance if there is an exam this week or there is a report you need to do.

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 2. Create a set of routines every day.

An average work schedule runs from mondays through fridays and having a hectic schedule because of it gives an uncomfortable feeling. Creating routines for every single day of the week provides an organize schedule. Whether it’s hitting the gym after work, going to bed by a certain time, or just leaving early for work to accommodate traffic, routines are fool-proof reminders to ensure productivity.

 3. Never do multiple tasks at once especially if they are important.

We cannot give our 100% to a single task if we are too busy doing multiple tasks at once. Eliminate trivial tasks in your schedule and set aside tasks that are not due for the day. This will let you focus on a single task and give your 100% at it. Who knows? Maybe you can finish the task fast and accurate, and give you more time for your other tasks.

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4. List the most important task/s (MIT) for the day and start doing them.

There are events where your boss gives you extra work that must be done in a day or some unforeseen circumstances force you to shift your schedule. Whatever those are, write down the most important tasks (MIT) that must be done for the day and start with them. Set your priorities straight so that you don’t have a hard time choosing what should be done first.

5.  Get a gym membership pass, jog around your neighborhood every weekends or just eat healthy.

As the motto goes, “Health is Wealth”, our body should not be abused in any way for it is our long-term investment. We cannot work properly if we are sick or if we have health issues, this will hinder us from being productive and getting tasks done. Staying fit and healthy allows us to function properly for our work and other tasks. It also boosts our self-confidence.

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6. Just say NO to tasks that are over your work limit or to invites from your friends going out to the bar or somewhere else.

Most of the time, peer pressure provides anxiety rather than comfort. Saying NO is a skill that must be learned these days. Imagine if you say yes to every invites from your friends or to tasks offered by your boss, adding unnecessary tasks to your work schedule. Saying NO will not affect your social status and position in life as long as you do your work properly and you set your priorities straight.

7. Sleep early and wake up early.

This one is an overused statement but that fact is a testament on how important sleeping and waking up early is. 24 hours seem a lot of time to schedule your tasks but in reality, it is short. Your work schedule will be reduced depending on how many hours you spent sleeping but sleep is important as it is the time our body produces new cells and heals wounds. Waking up early provides you more time, might it be an hour or two, to work for your tasks.

Productivity allows you to get more work done. Planning your work schedule as early as possible conditions your mind and body to adapt to the new ways and routines that will eventually become a part of your daily habit.

Featured photo credit: IMG_0115.jpg/lukeok via cdn.morguefile.com

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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