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The Ultimate Advantage of Group Effort: Why Some Goals Require Group Effort for Faster Success

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The Ultimate Advantage of Group Effort: Why Some Goals Require Group Effort for Faster Success

I recently acquired a property that is over 100 years old and was a former stately mansion turned into a triplex. My intention was to use this as one of my rental properties in my real estate investment portfolio. Like many houses of this age, it required a lot of repair although there were still signs of former elegance including original wooden floors, stained glass, bay windows and an Italian marble fireplace (that no longer works). In fact, the property was elegant enough for film producers to do a movie shoot inside one of the rooms where Christian Slater was the leading star.

One of the apartment units was already tenanted and two were vacant by the time I took ownership. Repair issues included many cracks in the walls and ceilings, plumbing that needed fixing, lighting fixtures that needed replacing, broken windows and screens as well as a full repainting of the walls. I personally don’t have the expertise to do most of these renovations so I hired contractors to do what I cannot do.

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Why Achieving Goals Alone is Not Always Effective

In order to save some money, I initially tried to do as much of the renovations work myself and this included most of the painting, since I had already painted my own house before. I could also do other simple tasks like replace broken window screens since again, I already did that at my own residence. I was thinking that doing as much as I can on my own would be shortcuts to success in the overall renovations.

When the renovations crew came onsite, the plan was for them to repair the major cracks on the walls so I could do the painting. However, things did not turn out that way. They told me that my painting skills were quite poor being slow and messy. As a result, they would have to clean up after my mistakes.

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Ultimately, I got ‘fired’ by my own contractors, in a nice way of course since I was the guy paying them. So I was effectively demoted by my own crew to being the clean up man since that was the only thing I could not mess up.

You’ll Achieve Faster Success in Goals with the Advantage of Group

I could take the time to learn how to do many of the renovating tasks on my own because new skills just take an effort to learn. However, such skills in repairing houses would have taken me so long, that there would have been much delays in achieving the overall goal, which was to get all of the vacant apartments rented out. Each week that a unit is vacant costs a property owner money.

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So I gave in and decided upon the advice of my contractors to let them do most of the work, including painting. In many ways, getting fired by my own renovations crew was very helpful. The renovations would be completed much faster with the professionals handling these tasks. Meanwhile, this freed up my own time to focus on the things that I did well, which included marketing the vacant units to potential tenants.

In fact, the marketing campaign was so effective with my total focus, I was able to get new tenants signed up on leases before all of the renovations actually finished. This of course resulted in minimal financial loss due to vacancies.

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My example here with my real estate rental property shows that some of our goals in life are not meant to be achieved alone or in isolation. Instead, success will come easier and faster if such goals were worked on with the help from other people.

Such teamwork with others also occurs in nature as many animals including wolves and killer whales hunt together in numbers. It is much safer for these animals to bring down certain prey, especially larger and dangerous ones, if teamwork is utilized.

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The assistance of the right people involved with your goals can result in major success that you would not otherwise have achieved by yourself. So it is important to determine which of your goals should be attempted on your own and which ones are best with group effort.

Featured photo credit:  Young man touching icons of different people via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer 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.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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