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Why Tracking Your Habits Will Make You More Productive, Consistent And Successful

Being Productive Through Tracking

When you don’t track your habits you’re more likely to talk yourself out of certain activities when you don’t feel like doing them. Tracking reminds and confronts you with your failures, effectively punishing you.

Tracking also gamefies your habits, providing extra motivation to being consistent. That sets a chain reaction of benefits in motion that starts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Why Tracking Your Habits Will Make You More Productive, Consistent And Successful

Why Tracking Your Habits Will Make You More Productive, Consistent And Successful

https://medium.com/personal-growth-lab/why-tracking-your-habits-will-make-you-more-productive-consistent-and-successful-78732affebe6

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Stop Lying Yourself

People tend to let themselves off the hook and take the easy way out much more often than they realize. Often, we hold on to an image or identity that we have of ourselves and let that image distort our reality.

When you track yourself you have factual evidence of your slip-ups, making you less likely to mindlessly justify them or pretend they didn’t happen.

Being Productive Through Tracking

When you don’t track your habits you’re more likely to talk yourself out of certain activities when you don’t feel like doing them. Tracking reminds and confronts you with your failures, effectively punishing you.

Tracking also gamefies your habits, providing extra motivation to being consistent. That sets a chain reaction of benefits in motion that starts to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Effectively Tracking Habits

  • You can use tracking apps, sheets or a journal to track your behavior.
  • Decide which habits you want to track.
  • Decide on a timeframe for tracking.
  • Set a target for how many times you want to successfully follow each habit in your chosen timeframe.
  • Decide on which days you want to do which habits, or even schedule it in your calendar.
  • Mark successful and unsuccessful habit executions.

Success Rate

A success rate gives you a number that informs your performance analysis. You will shortly be able to see if you’ve improved or not.

Calculate your ‘success rate’ to measure your progress over time. The formula is: Success Rate = (Completed Amount / Target Amount) * 100%. 

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Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any give...
Build good habits in two minutes

The “two-minute rule”  has two parts.

First, if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. Next, start building new habits for two minutes at a time. The rule for this is: When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. The idea is to make your habits as easy to start as possible. 

Think of these “two-minute habits” as gateway habits that will lead to your overarching goal.

Complete tasks in batches

It takes time to get into a rhythm to work on a task. Instead of constantly starting and stopping that process, it’s better to keep your rhythm going by bundling similar tasks together.

By doing this, you avoid interruptions and prevents himself from procrastinating.

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Excuse-making

It's a defense mechanism you use in the battle between your positive self-identity and the common challenges of everyday life.

This habit comes down to an inherent need to protect your...

The self-serving bias

It encourages you to claim your successes and to deflect your failures.

When something good happens, you take the credit, but when something bad happens, you blame it on something out of your control.

Common types of excuses
  • Lies: This is one of the worst types of excuses—a straight-up lie.
  • Self-handicapping excuses: Such as “I don’t have the skills to do that”, or “That’s not my job.”
  • Blame-shifting excuses: Instead of putting the blame on your lack of abilities, you accuse external factors for your missteps or lack of performance.

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Habits You Should Track

Factors to consider when choosing a new habit to track:

  • Motivation: choose a habit you personally care about. If you pick a habit out of a sense of obligation, your motivation wil...
Tackle One Behavior At a Time

You can’t fully focus on any behavior if you try to establish several at once. 

Doing so risks overloading your willpower and your habits may end up competing for priority.

“Stack” Your Habits

The best way to turn a behavior into a habit is to use a trigger to remind yourself to do it. Your trigger needs to be something you always do anyway. Anything you already do without thinking works.

As you build new habits, you create new triggers for yourself and stack a new habit onto it. Each existing habit acts as a trigger to remind you to complete the next one until it becomes natural to do both together. 

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Tsundoku
Tsundoku

Many of us have a desire to read. We buy books, but then the demands of work and family catch up with us, and we never get round to reading the books. The Japanese calls it tsundoku

Finding the time for books

To give books the attention and time it deserves in your life, you need to make it a higher priority. It means you have to change your habits and routines to allow more reading.

Sometimes, your reading needs only a little encouragement to displace something that should be lower down on your list. For example, to forgo watching television and reading a book instead.

The reading habit: Succeeding long-term
  • First consider why you want to read more books. Reading should be enjoyable for you because you find them entertaining, calming, stimulating, and fascinating. Once the habit is set, you can also read other things you "should" read.
  • Change your surroundings to make it easier for you to grab a book. Reading apps can be prominent on your phone. Physical books should be in places that you most often frequent.
  • Create modest reading goals. Permit yourself to start with reading one page a day. Once the habit is established, you can increase it.
  • Once you have laid the foundation for your new reading habit, create an action association, such as reading on the train to work or with your mid-morning coffee or dinner.

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Common Obstacles To Writing
  • You’re busy: separate 5-15 minutes to write, first thing in the morning, and stick to it.
  • You’re intimidated: The important thing is to start.
  • You’re not ...
Commit To Writing Every Day This Month

Make a public commitment, to people who will hold you accountable. You don’t need to publish your writing each day, but just write at least 5 minutes a day.

It can be any type of writing and it doesn’t have to be good, so let go of your desire for perfection.

Set Aside 5-10 Minutes

Setting your writing time during the morning is ideal as you haven’t gotten busy yet. But find what works for you and treat this appointment as unmissable.

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Destination Goals

While we set our personal goals, we make the common mistake of setting a 'destination goal', focusing on the end result,  without considering the hardships and daily challenges.

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Life Direction

Instead of sticking to dream goals it is better to set a life Direction.

How to figure out a Life Direction? Ask yourself these fundamental questions:

  • What energizes me?
  • What do I look forward to?
  • When do I feel the happiest?
  • What do I want to learn?
  • What kind of places or people inspire me to strive for more?
Action Plan

Determine and plan in advance all the critical parts of your goal, and break it down in small, actionable tasks.

The small, divided tasks keep you motivated by providing a feeling of progress on a daily basis.

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Read 1 book per week

Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning.

Taking even 15–30 minutes every day (especially during the morning) to read uplifting and instruct...

Do something that terrifies you

But you don’t have to constantly be battling your fears. You only need to be courageous for 20 seconds at a time.

If you courageously confront fear for 20 seconds every single day, before you know it, you’ll be in a different socio-economic and social situation.

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

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Live a 24-Hour Life
Live a 24-Hour Life

We, humans, want pleasure and results as soon as possible. We start taking action, but it often happens that we fall off the wagon because we don’t see results that fast.

From then on, eve...

Commit to Your Health

To increase the level of your health, and by default the level of productivity, because you will be more energetic and focused:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Create a healthy diet for yourself
  • Move more.
Develop a Morning Routine

A morning routine aims to make you alert, help you take care of your health, intellectual and spiritual growth. Develop 2 types of habits:

  • Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the present
  • Habits that can improve the quality of your life in the future

Ideally, you should focus to form habits that give you both — such as exercising.

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Personal Objective Key Results - OKR
Personal Objective Key Results - OKR

OKRs take big lofty goals, segment them into objectives, and then tie each of those objectives to actionable Key Results.

The Objective is the point on the...

Setting your personal OKR
  • Decide on your mission for your quarter.
  • Break mission down into objectives. 
  • Draft your Key Results. Key Results are specific, timely and measurable indicators of your progress.
  • Consider the purpose of each KR.
  • Find an accountability partner
  • Check in every 2–4 weeks with your partner. 
Completion bias

It's where your brain specifically seeks the hit of dopamine you get from crossing off small tasks and ignores working on larger, more complex ones.

Small wins and motivation

Out of all the things that can boost our mood and motivation, the single most important is making progress on meaningful work.

Just like we love crossing small tasks off our to-do list, being able to see that we’re even one step closer to a big goal is a huge motivator. The problem is that these “small wins” are hard to measure.

“Most of us make advances small and large every single day, but we fail to notice them because we lack a method for acknowledging our progress. This is a huge loss.”

“Most of us make advances small and large every single day, but we fail to notice them because we lack a method for acknowledging our progress. This is a huge loss.”

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