“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on a doorbell.”
As you read so far, you know how many times I referred to myself as a lazy ass. I find it pretty struggling to go to the gym or not delay doing XY important task. So I need to motivate myself. Create games and trick my mind.
It is about creating a reward system. So, don’t forget to reward yourself and set up small gifts for yourself. Worth mentioning is the breaks here, since they can be rewards as well. The easiest way to do it is to simply divide your learning time into bearable study sessions- a short break in an hour or so will already an incentive to keep focus. Then grab a small snack or call a friend- forget about the material you studied for a moment.
Reading about one trick, changed all of that. I realized that temptations and struggles can work hand-in-hand pretty well. Combining the two can solve many problems.
How does temptation bundling work exactly?
The idea is simple: I can only meet up with a good friend or watch my favorite TV show, if I went to the gym or got the most important task done for the day.
The whole idea came from Katy Milkman. Her strategy worked. I tested it: just like with me, not only did she go to the gym more often, she actually looked forward to going to the gym because it meant that she got to do one of her favorite things: read a good book or watch her favorite TV shows.
Read the full story here: http://jamesclear.com/temptation-bundling
Ever since I have been using this, surprising things have happened, like I go to the gym more often, I don’t procrastinate that much, I get more shit down and I could increase my focus. Solely for SEO purposes, let me give you a few examples.
Gym. I hate gyms, since they are monotone. I’m more like a ball player or enjoying team sports. That being said, I know that a 30-60 minutes’ exercise in the gym – on the treadmill or doing some super sets – can increase my body mechanisms, my state of mind — like knowing the fact that I made it to the gym and actually did the whole program. The best part is the reward, like enjoying time in the hot tub with my girlfriend or meeting up with friends afterward, or simply just sitting down with a shake and writing a blog post in a better way, mood and phase. Since I like these things, I make myself go to the gym more often, so I get to do all these. You could say that I can still do these, but! My mood and level of productivity wouldn’t be the same! So that’s the point!
If it was up for me, I could spend the whole day watching Friends and playing GTA. I LOVE those activities. But that stupid tiny voice in the back of my head will start telling me that is this really how I want to spend my day? The same thing as with the gym, that moment of short term satisfaction will affect me in the mid-long run and ironically my mood – or level of happiness – will decrease. Now, I don’t want that to happen. So I tell myself, that I can only watch Friends, if first I get XY done, preferably the most important task for that day. Then I’m good. Again, that’s the reward system I’m talking about, this is temptation bundling.
Getting shit done
Sorry, getting things done. It’s a simple choice: do I want my pass to just pass me by, or I want to create things. Of course I want to create. Good. Then question number two is what/when/how. So I create a roadmap, a to-do list – and even if I don’t, then I will have tasks in my inbox. If I don’t do this, they ain’t gonna stop. They will keep coming; cluttering my inbox. That I hate even more than getting out of the bed in the morning. So this thing – call it fear, fire in the belly, or negative temptation building (hey, I just invented negative temptation building:)) leads me to get up and get shit done. I use the get over it mantra and start telling myself ‘do it, do it, ‘do it, do it, ‘do it, do it!”. And I will!
I’m a multi-tasker. At least I used to be. One of my mentors told me that I rake. It meant that I was losing my focus since I wanted to do way too many things I failed, multiple times. One trick is to cut tasks into parts with ends. Another one is to say no to distractions and be present in whatever you do. Sounds easy, but it is way harder to execute.
Important vs. urgent
I have got one extra tip for you. There is a difference between important and urgent tasks. Urgent can be to book a flight or to get an appointment, while an important thing is that I have to write an article.
However, I always had the feeling that there is a small difference between these two, sometime they overlap each other and it feels like I should do all of them at the same time. But here is the trap, where it’s easier to lose control. This line helped me to understand how it is in fact:
“Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals.” Brett McKay
Then I only had to understand what tasks are important for me, tasks that contribute to my success. If I made this clear in my mind, I try to delegate certain tasks to someone else, while I can keep focusing on the things that are personally important to my progress. These ones I have to do immediately or schedule some of them for later. For example, going to the gym never feels urgent, but important in order to perform well in the long term.
Consistently accomplishing the right tasks helped me to boost my daily productivity and so did my mood. I’m not saying it’s easy, but believe me, it is totally worth it when you feel that you are actually on the right track, doing it.
All these could work out because I used temptation bundling. It made it easier for me to do. How about you? Do you find it valuable in your life?
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