Let me guess you intend to bookmark this post to read tomorrow?
Let that urge to start a new task pass you by and pass it will.
Read this right NOW…
This post will take only a couple of minutes of your time to read, but will help reduce the time you spend being unproductive. The technique is very simple, but does require practice in order for it to work efficiently.
Reasons for Not Studying Languages (other than checking out cat videos on YouTube)
Let’s do this…
1 Identify the most important task that you have planned today. Write it down. Is it 40-20 minutes of focused language learning?
2 Break this task down in to smaller more manageable chunks. I mean you wouldn’t eat a whole chicken in one mouthful would you? It would get stuck in your mouth! If your task is too big it will feel stuck and maybe even a little overwhelmed. Decide to do just the first 5 minutes of your chosen task. Getting started is the only thing in the world that matters to you right now. That cat video can wait it will still be there after your study session has ended.
3 Get rid of any distractions. Turn off all devices that you don’t require. Close down all tabs you might have open if working from a computer. Lock yourself in a cupboard if you have to! There should only be you, and your chosen task.
4 Now sit there (or stand), take a deep breath or give out a sigh and focus on getting started. Not doing the whole task, just getting started. Remember ‘chunking it‘. Think of ‘chunking it’ as zooming in on Google maps in order to see something clearer. Don’t attempt to zoom out and focus on whole task as this might overwhelm you.
5 Pay attention to your mind, as it starts to have urges to switch to another task. You may have urges to check your social media accounts, emails, cat photographs or even another website. You might even start to think about doing another task. Notice these urges, but do not give in to them.
6 Sit still (or stand), take another deep breath, hold for 2 (not 2 minutes, but for a count of 2) and let it go (the breath that is not a fart!) Now let any thoughts pass without judgement or acting upon them. Urges build up in intensity and then reach a peak before passing. Let them pass and retrain your brain not to react. The more peaks you can pass the less likely your brain will respond to them in the future.
7 Do you notice your mind trying to justify not doing the task? Also let these self-rationalizing thoughts pass. Do not act upon them. Any negative thoughts creeping in? Check out how to manage these in this separate post.
8 Finally take one small action to get started. As tiny a step as possible. It could be just to pick up a pen and grab a journal. Once you have started the task and got over the first five minutes the rest should just flow beautifully (and maybe with some practice).
Bonus: Now watch that cat video to reward yourself after the study session. Seriously it does not have to be a cat video, but something you value as a treat. Once the brain learns it is rewarded after a study session it will rewire itself more productively.
You are in control of your productivity if things are not working as well as you hope retrain your brain.
Do you have any tips for productivity? What works best for you? Comment below or on social media. #PositivelyProductive / #PosPro