Tag Archives: getting things done

Don’t confuse me with an optimist

Recently I was judged to be an optimist, which is not quite the case. Let’s find out what the difference is and try to get a feel of that.

Optimism is a mental attitude or world view that interprets situations and events as being best (optimized), meaning that in some way for factors that may not be fully comprehended, the present moment is in an optimum state. The concept is typically extended to include the attitude of hope for future conditions unfolding as optimal as well.

Case 1.
Person: we’ve screwed the search puzzle by picking the wrong route
Me: I feel like I understand the logic better now

Case 2.
Person: I hate playing without a navigator person
Me: I’ll fill in the gap next time

I don’t hope for the better future here, neither do I speculate about the universe(factors that may not be fully comprehended). I only have me, myself and I playing with my words and thoughts, putting them in a way which makes the experience actionable and empowering.

Exercise

If you’d like to get a feel of that try this:knuckles

1. Get yourself a timer
2. Pick a challenging pose
3. Measure your time and notice all the thoughts in your head, in my case I always end up with something like “Oh, I’m tired”, “It hurts”, “It’s raining”, “I’ll do my best next time” — this will be specific to you, but I’m including a good set of excuses as a youtube video[1]
4. take some rest
5. try once again but closer to the end nurse a different set of thoughts, I’m particularly excited by “This current moment represents my whole life, following the wuss route now, I’m accepting that for all”, also having a beautiful girl nearby helps :)

I bet you’ll be better at p5 than at p3.

Takeaways

Now that you noticed how your thoughts can kneecap you or support your goals achievement. Whichever you choose?

[1] Nike ‘No excuses’ commericial

Fairytales in getting things done

While doing my weekly retrospective, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that I’ve adjusted my goals slightly to make them reachable. While discussing that all out load and with a person, I’ve came up with another approach which I’d like to share.

In my universe reaching a goal always boils down to allocating a necessary(usually unknown) amount of resources. The amount required becomes clear during the execution stage and when it appears that I lack those, I try to fix that via one of the methods I’m used to:

1. Give up on it totally and use the resources for the world — e.g. don’t buy no cars(and horses)
2. Try to find some immediate use to the others and pool our resources together — e.g. rent a car to travel
3. Reduce the amount of resources required — e.g. buy a toy car

All of those don’t work in terms of not bringing me the result I wanted initially. P1 is loser way by definition. P2 does not work as I’m not good at thinking in urgent mode, so I usually I abandon this option in favor of other ones in a matter of minutes. P3 as my house building exercise shows (Russian), makes the goal not tasty enough and I resort to P1, which has proven ‘efficiency’ :)

4. Relax, use your imagination and build a LARGER vision — e.g. I was about to give up on building a sleeping pod, but by accident I came up with the following: a) it’s built somehow b) it’s installed in one of the IT companies offices c) competitors catch up –> voila, it’s commonly accepted thing now! I’m excited with the leverage: I do a small thing vs the world changes and that motivates me a lot.

TL;DR: So, if you’re reluctant to do something, try to come up with a fairytale – that helps : )

How to achieve more without straining yourself too much?

Recently I’ve attended the webinar. I love the guys personalities, but what they did as a team, was awesome :) Let me share couple of new exciting ideas with you.

Entertain your brain

There’s an idea that whenever your brain has some spare processing power, it starts on something new. Thus if you want to be focused to have something done in a reasonable time, sandbag(or, better entertain) it a bit.

Example: doing the dishes is boring, but what about doing them in one-handed mode only?

Be fast in decision making. Decide in advance

It’s a known fact that conscious multi-factor decision making is somewhat brittle. And also leads to a “paralysis by analysis” situations. Thus it’s usually easier to pick any option and improve as you go.

Another one thing is when you’re embarking on to decision making process, you have this fancy process of your brain areas activating and sedating each other(I do that all the time reasoning about “Why should I and bla-bla-bla”. Learn to follow your decision once made and that will save you tons of time. Also achievationers ideas apply here: it’s better to have another one deed to motivate you even more rather staying still.

Btw, this article is itself an example of the principle being applied.

Define goals clearly. Define them small

Again, clearly defined stuff prevents you from falling into the reasoning trap. Defining them small allows you to allocate enough resources(e.g. focus) to get the thing done and feel the hormone happiness from actually achieving something – so generate some of your tailwind yourself : )

Example: cleaning the house is rather large and vague, doing the dishes is good enough. Reading a book is vague, reading a book for 30 mins / reading 30 pages is just fine.

Prefer ‘training’ goals

The guys defined two type of goals ‘pitfall’ ones(huge chunks of work/unknowns) and ‘training’ ones – being small, clearly defined and rather easy to achieve.

Training goals don’t strain you that much, so you’ll do something more frequently this eventually yielding better result.

Example: I had a hard time raising my pushups count from 20 to 100 in 3 month, but targeting a joyful gym visit just today is just awesome/yeah, I still have long term numbers to achieve, but I don’t bother : )/

Want more?

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