How to get through tough times using Autopilot Mode - Deepstash
How to get through tough times using Autopilot Mode

How to get through tough times using Autopilot Mode

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What is Autopilot Mode?

A state of being where you do your tasks without directly thinking about them.

It’s like navigating to the grocery store near your home. You’ve been there enough times to know the way, so you can direct your attention toward other important things like looking out for traffic or avoiding potholes on the road.


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How to enter Autopilot Mode

  1. Create a plan of action (e.g. a prioritized list of tasks)
  2. Remove your feelings
  3. Start on the first task

Step #1 helps you immensely if you’re tackling a task for the first time.

Step #2 is crucial. By “removing your feelings”, I really mean eliminating them—even if they’re positive, and especially if they’re negative. You can do this using any mindfulness practice that you’re comfortable with.


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Why "remove your feelings" before doing a task?

  • Negative feelings can create analysis paralysis, stopping you from starting on a task or persisting through obstacles.
  • Positive feelings can (unconsciously) create expectations . When those expectations aren’t met, it’s easy to feel derailed and demotivated.


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Autopilot Mode is good for:

#1: Persisting through tasks that you must complete, but don’t like. You may enjoy your work, but it’s impossible to love all the tasks involved.

#2: Doing tasks faster. In Autopilot Mode, you work methodically like a robot: Knock out Task #1, move on to Task #2, and complete Task #3.

  • You’ve removed your feelings, so you don’t feel as tempted to distract yourself with social media or Netflix.
  • You’re focused on completing the task, so when you encounter problems, you’re more likely to persist through the problem and become creative at solving it.


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Do not use Autopilot Mode:

#1: For planning, especially for long-term time horizons. 

  • You should be deliberate in your planning so that your pursuits are intentional in helping you move closer to where you want to be.

#2: As a way of life. 

  • If you’re in Autopilot Mode all the time, you’d blink and realize that you’ve “coasted” through a significant period of time. That’s when you feel that life has stagnated or become unintentional.


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Developer of solutions, people, and self / Living in 7 countries in 4 years of CS undergrad at Minerva University / Intentional living newsletter 👇🏼


Autopilot Mode helped me churn out 3+ 1000-word essays in two weeks. Not recommended for long-term use, but immensely useful to push through short-term tough times!

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