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The Morphing Mindset: Transform These 5 Habits to Boost Your Productivity

The Morphing Mindset: Transform These 5 Habits to Boost Your Productivity

    Productivity is the result of the decisions we make and mindset we have. These things in turn create habits that we tend to follow, sometimes too rigidly.

    Do you want to make a positive change inside you that leads to better productivity and improved self-confidence?

    If so, then I suggest that you take a look at these common unproductive habits that hold you back and transform them into productive ones.

    1. Complaining -> Taking action

    I used to belong to the group of people who complained a lot. Mostly it was about the job I hated, but I had other things that I complained about too.

    Yet at some point I came to realize that maybe I should do something about those things instead of complaining about them. Maybe I’m the one who has to make things happen…

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    Finally, I understood that taking action was the only way to move forward. I didn’t want to waste my time and energy on something useless like complaining.

    I think that this is a good guideline for any of us. If there is something bothering you that isn’t right, think to yourself: Is it going to get better by complaining or can you do something about it?

    I bet that in many situations the latter option is the best one.

    2. Assuming -> Confirming

    My former boss used to say the following:

    “Assuming is prohibited.”

    What he meant was that one should always be sure of something so that the right action could be taken.

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    Although this habit saves you from many headaches, be ready to face your fears when you transform this habit.

    In order to confirm things and being sure of something, you have to ask questions to understand the situation better. For some people, this is not an easy thing to do since they may feel that others think that they are stupid — or even incompetent — when they ask for more information.

    Of course, this isn’t so.

    Confirming or asking questions is a better way to move forward than pondering the issue by yourself and taking wrong action — one which is based on assumptions.

    Confirming makes you more confident and productive, because you know what to do and are not guessing what to do.

    3. Being a Victim -> Being Responsible

    It is easy to take on the “victim role” instead of being responsible of your own actions. This also means that instead of being true to yourself, you are more willing to blame your boss, your work, your environment or the people you associate with when you are feeling lousy.

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    Understandably, it may not be easy to admit that perhaps the problem lies within you. However, you really have to admit that because of your past actions you find yourself in the current situation.

    You create your own reality by the decisions you make and the actions you take. If you are not happy with things the way they are, then start creating a plan to change things.

    Here’s an example: If you are not happy how your body looks, start making lifestyle changes — and find out the phone number to the nearest nutrition coach to help you out.

    After you realize that you can make the change and that you have to take the responsibility, things start moving for the better and the victim days are soon behind you.

    4. Fixing the Symptoms -> Fixing the Root Cause

    When something unexpected happens, you do whatever is needed to put things back to normal. However, when the same unexpected thing starts to happen on a recurring basis, fixing the symptoms is not enough anymore.

    For instance, when you feel sick to your stomach you can take medicine to fix the situation. However, when this same symptom occurs on a frequent basis, you should spend more time and energy to analyze what is causing your stomach ache in the first place and fix that instead.

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    Spend a bit more time on finding and fixing the root cause – instead of wasting your time on dealing with the symptoms.

    5. Easiest Task First -> Hardest Task First

    Working on the easiest task first is a very compelling thing to do. You don’t have to stress about the task that much because it is fun. You are also feeling comfortable because you don’t have to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

    On the other hand, if you’re willing to take action on the hardest task first, you’ll be prouder of yourself and this will give you a self-confidence boost.

    When you handle the challenging task before the easy one, it is not lurking in the back of your mind anymore and you can fully focus on your other tasks that you have to take care of.

    No matter whether or not you are able to accomplish this hard task at once, the main point is that you are acting on the task now so that you can fully enjoy the fun tasks later.

    So…has your mindset morphed?

    (Photo credit: Businessman with Superhero Suit via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Timo Kiander

    Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

    The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It) How to Create a To-Do List that Super Boosts Your Productivity Do You Do This Common Mistake When You Start Working on Your Tasks? 9 Valuable Lessons Learned After Writing My First Book

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    Last Updated on September 24, 2020

    17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

    17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

    In the movie The Matrix, everyone was intrigued with the ability that Neo and his friends possessed to learn new skills in a matter of seconds. With the incredible rise in technology today, the rapid learning in the movie is becoming much more of a reality than you realize.

    The current generation has access to more knowledge and information than any before it. Through the internet, we are able to access all sorts of knowledge to answer almost every conceivable question. To become smarter, it’s more about the ability to learn faster, rather than being a natural born genius.

    Here are 17 ways to kickstart your Matrix-style learning experience in a short amount of time.

    1. Deconstruct and Reverse Engineer

    Break down the skill that you want to learn into little pieces and learn techniques to master an isolated portion. The small pieces will come together to make up the whole skill.

    For example, when you’re learning to play the guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

    2. Use the Pareto Principle

    Use the Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80 20 rule. Identify the 20% of the work that will give you 80% of the results. Find out more about the 80 20 rule here: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

    Take learning a new language for example. It does not take long to realize that some words pop up over and over again as you’re learning. You can do a quick search for “most commonly used French words,” for example, and begin to learn them first before adding on the rest.

    3. Make Stakes

    Establish some sort of punishment for not learning the skill that you are seeking. There are sites available that allow you to make a donation toward a charity you absolutely hate if you do not meet your goals. Or you can place a bet with a friend to light that fire under you.

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    However, keep in mind that several studies have shown that rewards tend to be more motivating than punishment[1].

    4. Record Yourself

    Seeing yourself on video is a great way to learn from your mistakes and identify areas that you need to improve. This is very effective for any musicians, actors, speakers, performers, and dancers.

    5. Join a Group

    There are huge benefits to learning in a group. Not only are you able to learn from others but you’ll be encouraged to make progress together. Whether it’s a chess club, a mastermind group, or an online meet-up group, get connected with other like-minded individuals.

    6. Time Travel

    Visit the library. Although everything is moving more and more online, there are still such things called libraries.

    Whether it’s a municipal library or your university library, you will be amazed at some of the books available there that are not accessible online. Specifically, look for the hidden treasures and wisdom contained in the really old books.

    7. Be a Chameleon

    When you want to learn new skills, imitate your biggest idol. Watch a video and learn from seeing someone else do it. Participate in mimicry and copy what you see.

    Studies have shown that, apart from learning,[2]

    “Mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them.”

    Visual learning is a great way to speed up the learning process. YouTube has thousands of videos on almost every topic available.

    8. Focus

    Follow one course until success! It’s easy to get distracted, to throw in the towel, or to become interested in the next great thing and ditch what you initially set out to do.

    Ditch the whole idea of multitasking, as it has been shown to be detrimental and unproductive Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

    9. Visualize

    The mind has great difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That is why athletes practice mentally seeing their success before attempting the real thing[3].

    Visualize yourself achieving your new skill and each step that you need to make to see results. This is an important skill to help when you’re learning the basics or breaking a bad habit.

    Take a look at this article to learn how to do so: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

    10. Find a Mentor

    Success leaves clues. The best short cut to become an expert is to find an expert and not have to make the mistakes that they have made.

    Finding out what NOT to do from the expert will fast-track your learning when you want to learn new skills. It is a huge win to have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

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    If you need help learning how to find a mentor, check out this article.

    11. Sleep on It

    Practice your new skill within four hours of going to sleep.

    Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, is a noted rapid learning expert. He says that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics are ingrained at a quicker level.

    12. Use the 20-Hour Rule

    Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magic number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill.

    His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.[4]

    Check out his video to find out more:

    13. Learn by Doing

    It’s easy to get caught up in reading and gathering information on how to learn new skills and never actually get around to doing those skills. The best way to learn is to do.

    Regardless of how unprepared you feel, make sure you are physically engaged continuously. Keep alternating between research and practice.

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    14. Complete Short Sprints

    Rather than to force yourself into enduring hours upon hours of dedication, work in short sprints of about 20-30 minutes, then get up and stretch or take a short walk. Your brain’s attention span works best with short breaks, so be sure to give it the little rest it needs.

    One study found that, between two groups of students, the students who took two short breaks when studying actually performed better than those who didn’t take breaks[5].

    15. Ditch the Distractions

    Make sure the environment you are in is perfect for your rapid-learning progress. That means ditching any social media, and the temptation to check any email. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

    Before you sit down to learn new skills, make sure that potential distractions are far from sight.

    16. Use Nootropics

    Otherwise known as brain enhancers, these cognitive boosters are available in natural herbal forms and in supplements.

    Many students will swear by the increased focus that nootropics will provide[6], particularly as they get set for some serious cramming. Natural herbal nootropics have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions to improve the mind and learning.

    Find out more about brain supplements in this article.

    17. Celebrate

    For every single small win that you experience during the learning process, be sure to celebrate. Your brain will release endorphins and serotonin as you raise your hands in victory and pump your fits. Have a piece of chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back. This positive reinforcement will help you keep pushing forward as you learn new skills.

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    The Bottom Line

    Learning a new skill should be exciting and fun. Whether you use online courses, real world experience, YouTube videos, or free online resources, take time to learn in the long term. Keep picturing the joy of reaching the end goal and being a better version of yourself as continual motivation.

    More Tips on How to Learn New Skills

    Featured photo credit: Elijah M. Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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