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About Everything Wiki » Productivity » What is personal "average speed" and how does it affect our lives

What is personal "average speed" and how does it affect our lives

08 Jun 2023, 12:01, parser
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James clear
Businessman, author of book "Atomic habits. How to acquire good habits and get rid of bad ones."

What is the "average speed"

I have a friend named Nathan Barry. He recently wrote three books in just nine months. How? With the help of one simple strategy — to write 1,000 words a day, which is about 2-3 pages. He did this for 253 days in a row.

And now compare his strategy with the typical image of a writer who locks himself in a house in the woods for several weeks and scribbles a book like a madman. Such a maniac author works at "maximum speed" — 20, maybe 30 pages a day. But after several weeks of such a crazy "marathon", there are two options for the development of events — either the work on the book or the moral strength of the author will end.

For comparison, Nathan's "maximum speed" has never reached the level of a crazy writer from a cabin in the woods. However, in a year or two, my friend's "average speed" was much higher.

This principle can be applied not only to writing. For example, anyone can feel a surge of inspiration, go to the gym and work out there once. This is the "maximum speed". We attach too much importance to it and literally fixate on it. How hard was the training? What about motivation? How fast were the exercises performed?

But what if you try to calculate the averages for the last month? How many days have you been training? And if we take the last three months? Or a year? What was your "average speed"?

One has only to look at the situation from this angle, and it immediately turns out that at first you were ill for a week, then you missed training due to fatigue, and then you left on a business trip altogether. As a result, you realize that your "maximum speed" is sometimes high, but the "average" is much lower than it seems.

According to my observations, this principle is true for any sphere of life, including habits related to work, nutrition or relationships.

Amazing fact about "average speed": it allows you to achieve success fairly quickly.

We very often spend time and energy thinking that it is necessary to make gigantic efforts to achieve something significant. We tell ourselves that we need to be motivated and willing. We think it's important to work harder than others.

But look at the people who are moving forward and making progress, and you will see a different trend. Nathan wrote 1,000 words every day. And what happened nine months later? He has written three books. At the same time, he never tried to work more than others. After all, writing 2-3 pages a day is far from a shocking performance indicator. My friend was simply more consistent than the others, and his "average speed" over these 253 days was much higher than most.

How to increase the "average speed"

Recently I was told about the idea of a "prom for habits". It consists in ending some one current habit and rising to a higher level. In general, this tactic is needed to improve the "average speed".

Here are some examples:

  • If your "average speed" is three healthy meals a week, you can "graduate" from it with a new habit of eating one healthy dish every day.
  • If your "average speed" is two workouts per month, bring their number to one per week.
  • If you have a crazy job and you communicate with old friends only once every three months, it's time to include calls in your calendar and increase the "average speed" to conversations every month.

I'm sure you've caught the idea. The "prom for habits" is to evaluate your goals and "average speed" and figure out how you can improve the result with the help of repetitive actions and habits.

I was thinking how to apply this method in my life. For the past eight months, I have been publishing new articles every Monday and Thursday. How to "graduate" from this habit? You can use Nathan's strategy and write 1,000 words a day. This will allow me not only to continue to give out two articles a week, but also to work on other things, for example, to start working on a book.

When it comes to habits, each of us has our own "average speed". And to be honest, it is usually much lower than we would like. The truth is that it is not difficult for us to motivate ourselves and push ourselves to action for one day. But few people can keep this motivation and make consistent efforts every week.

But do not blame or blame yourself for the low "average speed". The main thing is to understand what is happening and realize that you are able to control it. And then come to terms with the fact that only small but consistent changes in daily habits can correct your "average speed". Huge efforts are not needed — only consistency is important.

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