Table Of Contents
Chapter 1: Beginning Steps
Chapter 2: Quit Wasting Time
Chapter 3: Beef Up Your Actions
Chapter 4: Stay On Track
Chapter 5: Be Accountable
Sample Content Preview
Quit blowing so much time and quit rationalizing how you’re “truly not wasting any at all.”
We all blow time in ways we don’t see (or don’t wish to accept). We’re either not cognizant of it or we’re dressing it up in some euphemism that makes us feel safer about doing something other than the things we understand we ought to be doing.
We blow time when we surf the net “to take a break” when we’re truly putting off doing work that makes us uncomfortable.
We waste time when we flip television channels, passively seeking something intriguing when we’re obviating doing something meaningful that would call for work we don’t feel like doing.
We blow time when we engage in escapism activities that are cloaked as “relaxing” -but later on, we don’t wind up feeling like we’ve relaxed in the least when it’s all said and done.
Bear in mind I’m not discussing true diversion -like taking a break from work to hit the gymnasium or reconnect with somebody you care about. I’m discussing spending time doing things that add no true value to your life. I’m discussing filling up your time with disposable actions you won’t remember a week from today, much less in a year.
And before you believe I’m trying to be a party pooper, trying to entice you into the seductive and well-groomed cult of productiveness, ask yourself these 2 questions:
1. Firstly, how many things do you regret not having achieved, tried or felt over the last 10 years?
2. How much time weekly do you spend playing video games, net/channel surfing, or doing other disposable actions that don’t leave you regenerated and more satisfied? Once I asked myself that question for the first time, I nearly broke down in tears.
Become truthful with yourself, provide a ballpark guess of how many of those regrets didn’t have to occur, and make an inner decision to wage war on languished time. And when you begin doing more of what really matters to you, you are able to take a break to watch TV as you’ve earned it.
It’s crucial that you quit underestimating the real cost of wasted time, as it genuinely is devastating. Opportunities pass you by that you’ll never get a shot at again. Relationships disappear, and all of a sudden it’s too late to do anything about it. Your feeling of personal power and strength is sapped, as even though you’re perpetually busy doing things, you aren’t doing enough of the matters that make you feel great inside.
And most cruelly of all, rather than looking forward to every new day as a opportunity to move forward and have a more plentiful life, you’re loaded down by regret at what you haven’t accomplished. And so the desire to prevent that pain becomes so overpowering that rather than fighting against the time-wasting habits that induced the pain in the 1st place, you feel an unbelievable urge to distract yourself from the hurt.
And so you click a different web page, or watch a different TV program, or play a different game. If it sounds like I’m closely acquainted with the psychology of this downwardly spiral, it’s because I’ve endured it myself. And while a few days I lapse into this spiral -and hard -I do my best to undo this conduct as best I can (and it becomes a bit easier every week).
If you put what you’ll discover in the following few pages into practice, you’ll discover yourself moving upward over time also. It’s a great place to be.
However be warned: There will never be a deficit of individuals who try to pull you back into the downwardly spiral, as they’re trapped in it themselves. Do not resent them, though, any more than you ought to resent yourself -but do what you are able to assist them.
When you choose to stop settling for less and to begin altering your life, you’re going to have to overpower an enormous amount of resistance from the individuals who you’re closest to. We tend to live in a “group” -either surrounding ourselves with individuals who share our standards, or letting our peer group’s criteria drive our own -so when we raise the bar, we stir the pot.
No one loves realizing they’ve settled for less than what they’re able to do -but if everyone else is living the same way, it’s “ok.” Once somebody begins raising the bar, though, it pressures the rest of the peer group to admit what they’re doing.
Quit assuming feeble action and stating to yourself “I’m doing my best.” We both recognize that’s not genuine, as we’ve both told this lie more times than we may count. We work hard, without doubt, but we don’t always dedicate to pushing ourselves to really do our best. We don’t consistently accomplish things like acquire the correct amount of sleep (But the best show is on!)Force distractions away (Come on I can’t switch off Twitter and my cell for an hour!) and we don’t dedicate to staying as close to 100% centered on the job at hand as we are able(But focusing is hard!).
How may I state this with such assurance? Because of the front room principle. You know how you don’t get around to straightening the house “because it will take too much time,” but when somebody calls and states they’re coming over now it miraculously gets accomplished, really quickly? Or once the boss states “I need this (2 hour job) accomplished in an hour” … and in some way it gets accomplished, with moments to spare? Once we have substantial enough leverage over ourselves (put differently, pressure), we fight as hard as we have to and may genuinely say we did our finest.
The thing is, we’re commonly not centered on producing this level of leverage in ourselves on a day-to-day basis. Yeah, we turn it up a notch when we have to finish stuff up so we may catch a plane, or when a difficult deadline like tax day happens, but as a whole, we don’t make it a habit to develop this specific mental muscle.
However what if you did? What if you took one little action every day to push yourself to really do your best -to keep centered, to push aside distractions and to make knocking out chores a game you played to win?
An uncomplicated illustration of this is a concept named time boxing, which is the act of determining a short, specific deadline on achieving a task. This is basically what we see in the front room principle, as the external deadline pressures you to magically get more discerning with your focus.
The difference with time boxing is that the deadline is inner instead of external -your soon-to-arrive company or your boss isn’t pressuring it on you. You’re making a witting decision to fit the job into a short time span, and you’re using your own personal power.
Time boxing isn’t a certainty, though; there will be enough times you merely can’t fit the job into the time you reserved. Perhaps you go over, by a bit, or by a great deal. But that’s all right, because since you’re mindful of the deadline you’ve just exceeded, you’ll still work hard to get matters accomplished as quickly as possible so you restrain how far you’ve gone over.
And once you’re finished, you’ll recognize that you achieved those results in a much shorter stretch of time than you would have if you merely decided to “get to work” without that inner deadline. And astonishingly, you’ll discover yourself able to fend off the common distractions that shoot you off course, because you’ll state things like “I have to get this done in a half-hour, I may check my e-mail after that.”
And when somebody steps in your office or posts an instant message, you will instinctively state, “May I get back to you in a 30 minutes?” You won’t be utilizing willpower to remain centered -rather you’ll be doing your best as you’ve turned it into a game you wish to win. A game where triumph makes you feel more respectable about yourself in a way that merely marking off a to-do list item never could. Now envisage if you did this each day. How few regrets would you have 10 years from today?
A different simple but mighty way to push your boundaries and do your best is to begin tapping into the power of micro actions, little and seemingly commonplace actions that snowball into life- altering events down the road. For instance, let’s suppose that for years you’ve kept saying you needed to get in shape, but you simply never have as the time/effort dedication was too much. So you choose no action, and you go nowhere. However if you took a micro action -like doing merely three pushups a day, that’s a beginning. It appears so petty and useless that you wouldn’t wish to do it initially -but let’s suppose that you did it anyhow, even if appeared like a total joke.
When you do this for a week more or less, an astonishing thing occurs. Your mind becomes “tricked” into believing that exercise is a regular thing for you. Those three pushups are easy, but you detect an almost imperceptible feeling of power in your biceps after you do them. So you begin wanting a bit more, and one day you force yourself to do 4 or 5.
It’s become a game now, and your mind already feels like pushups are a normal function of your day, so it stops being a huge deal to accomplish them. And you find that you wish to push it up to 7, or 10, or 20, as you’re proud of what you’re achieving. And this feeling starts to infect your other habits too. Perhaps you wish to see if you are able to do the same thing with pushups, or with walking, or with consuming just one piece of fresh fruit a week (then 2, then 3 ….)
Micro actions are a potent, mind-altering tool for habit change as they don’t call for self-control. You are able to literally treat it as a gag in the beginning, seeing if you are able to commit to such an absurd beginning. But once you begin, you quit laughing, and you wish to continue.
And it does work in all areas of your life. Overpay your charge card payments by $5 a month for a couple of months, and soon you begin wanting to come up with $10 to apply to that lower limit payment. Then $15, then $20 … and the debt snowball begins rolling in your favor.
Micro actions help you drive yourself to do your best by taking self-control out of the equation. Make those micro actions as easy and effortless as you want, and as long as you’re uniform, you’ll ultimately feel that inner nagging to play a more boastful game.
Actions are infectious -and that’s exactly why your bad habits grabbed you, fortifying themselves with one petite pull at a time. Now your chance to begin making the infectious nature of uniform action work in your favor.
The most ambitious hurdle in overcoming our habit of taking feeble action isn’t self-control -its indifference. While famous people who are our role models might intimidate us with their productivity, commitment and “self-control,” the individuals we surround ourselves with on a day-to-day basis commonly don’t.
And since they’re the individuals we wish to feel “accepted” by, we don’t feel the outside pressure to raise our standards and play that better game. We may remain slack, and they won’t call us out. One resolution to this is to spend more time around individuals who will draw you in a positive direction by their example and criteria.
If you’re surrounded only by individuals who keep you at a level far beneath what you know you’re capable of, make your 1st micro action hanging with somebody who will challenge you to elevate the bar. They’ll kick your rear if you begin settling for less. Who knows -when you’re infected with a higher criterion, you may spread it to your peers.Other Details
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