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How to Get Yourself to Do Things

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff to-do”, you can see that they each have a very predictable life cycle and it brings in the realm of the concrete.

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How to Get Yourself to Do Things

How to Get Yourself to Do Things

https://www.raptitude.com/2015/03/how-to-get-yourself-to-do-things/

raptitude.com

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Key Ideas

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as separate from the whole bundle of “stuff to-do”, you can see that they each have a very predictable life cycle and it brings in the realm of the concrete.

The end of anxiety

The moment you start acting on something, you are at the beginning of the end of the anxiety associated with that thing.

Many procrastinators are pessimists and overestimate the difficulty of the task they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.

Avoiding action

The moment you start avoiding action again, due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering a nonproductive phase. 

Physical action ceases, and pointless overthinking begins.

Anxiety associated with obligations

It comes from a misapprehension of what it will actually be like to do the work. 

This anxiety is made of abstract, big-picture emotional concerns, about reputation, legacy, anxiety for the future, self-esteem, comparisons to others — worries about who you are, rather than what you’re doing.

Finishing a task

You finish a thing by starting it until it’s done.

Finishing is only a matter of starting from where you are, as many times as you have to until it’s done. 

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Expect and prepare for change

Set aside some time regularly to create a list of important changes that you think could possibly happen. The purpose of this task is to open your mind to change and sharpen your ability to spot and respond to changes. 

Even if the events on your lists never happen, the practice of anticipating and preparing for change will give you a greater sense of command over your future.

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Reward yourself

Make sure to treat yourself to something you really enjoy, after you finish working on your tasks.

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Break down tasks

Big tasks tend to overwhelm and demotivate us. As a result, we often don’t bother getting starting on something we want to do.

So instead of having a number of large tasks to do or one big task, just set one small task for now. This will make your work seem more manageable.

A mental warm up

It can be difficult to go from waking up in the morning to getting yourself working right away. So give yourself a mental warm up exercise beforehand.

For example, try reading an interesting book that gets your brain going, write down your ideas or do some crossword/Sudoku puzzles.

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Mimic and get help from someone who’s already learned it to get tips and save time.

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...into its basic, fundamental components, to find the most important things to practice first. This shows that very few things actually make a difference in any aspect of our lives, including learning.

Use the Pareto Principle: which describes a goal of generating 80 percent of results by putting in 20 percent of the effort.

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