How to snooze mental reminders - Deepstash

How to snooze mental reminders

Research shows that you can find relief from the Zeigarnik effect by simply planning to finish your tasks.

What you can do:

  • Make a habit of writing your tasks down.
  • Have a system for organizing and regularly reviewing your tasks.
  • Have an end of work shutdown ritual, so your mind knows it's time to switch off.
  • Identify a small step you can take to get started. Then your brain is more eager to keep going.
  • Don't forget to review what you've already accomplished.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The Zeigarnik Effect: Why Unfinished Work Follows Us Home

The Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik effect is our tendency to remember incomplete or interrupted tasks easier than completed tasks.

At first, the Zeigarnik Effect seems handy: We remember the things we still need to do.

  • But each incomplete task divides your focus, making it harder to concentrate on what is in front of you.
  • Another problem is that even if we can physically disconnect from work, our unfinished tasks will filter through to our family dinners, vacations, weekends and sleep.

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RELATED IDEA

The Zeigarnik Effect

Unfinished work continues to exert an influence, even when we try to move on to other things.

When you start working on something but do not finish it, thoughts of the unfinished work continue to pop into your mind even when you've moved on to other things. Such thoughts urge you to go back and finish it.

Books, video games and tv-series all take advantage of this effect.

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We All Tend To Make The Same Mental Mistakes

Economists used to believe that people will always choose the option that maximizes their well-being. But people act against their rational self-interest all the time.

We procrastinate and eat junk food and say yes to the things we don't have time for. Two Israeli psychologists found that we predictably make the same mental mistakes that can be avoided if we are aware of them.

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It suggests that not finishing a task creates mental tension, which keeps it at the forefront of our memory. 

The only thing that will relieve this tension is the closure brought on by completion of the task.

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