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About Everything Wiki » Productivity » How to achieve goals if you don't have time

How to achieve goals if you don't have time

26 Jan 2024, 00:00, parser
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Scott Young
Writer, author of the book "Super-education. A system for mastering any skills — from learning languages to building a career."

Why it is more difficult for busy people to achieve goals

There is always a gap between action and intention. This is the difference between what we are going to do, for example, learn a language, open a business or start getting enough sleep, and what we end up with.

It is believed that such a gap arises from a lack of willpower. Only lazy people who have never heard of discipline fail to keep their promises. Successful people with busy lives, excellent careers, wonderful family and friends are not in danger of this problem.

In fact, it's not like that at all. The more successful we become and the more responsibilities we have, the easier it is for our actions and intentions to "go" in different directions. See:

  • Do you have a responsible job? Then colleagues, superiors and overtime will take a bite out of any of your goals.
  • Do you have a loving family? Great, but childhood illnesses, matinees and other things can make it difficult to get to what you want.
  • Do you have your own business? Urgent problems, customer requests, growth difficulties — and you no longer have time to implement your initial plans.

Commitment to one's own intentions is a real skill that requires regular practice, because life constantly forces us to adapt to circumstances and sacrifice our priorities.

What to do to get your way

Spaceships are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of outer space. Similarly, you need to create your own habits, systems, and plans to achieve your goals, even when life sets its own rules.

That's what I suggest to use:

  • Reduce the number of habits to a minimum so that you can keep up the pace when you don't have time at all.
  • Determine in advance the "accounting periods" that will not allow you to go astray.
  • Constantly check the list of values to make sure that you follow your priorities, and do not use excuses, just not to do really important things.
  • Distinguish between everyday tasks and tasks for self-development.
  • Work out plans in case you encounter obstacles that you cannot foresee.

However, I would like to focus on only two techniques now.

1. Apply the "if —then" method

Imagine two scenarios. First, you decided to exercise every day, but got sick, missed a couple of workouts and eventually gave up. The second one is that you decided to exercise every day, but you took into account that you might get sick. And that's why they came up with such a move: if you feel bad, then all you have to do is touch the door of the gym and finish the "workout".

Now imagine that you are ill. But since you foresaw this, even when you skip a workout, you continue to follow the planned plan. The most important thing here is that you have a reasonable way to keep the momentum going.

This is the "if—then" method. You start by asking yourself questions about a lot of things that could potentially ruin your plans. These may be illnesses, work trips, family troubles, or even motivational rather than situational reasons, such as a bad mood or a feeling of anxiety.

Then you prepare an action plan for each scenario, present it in all its details and think through reasonable steps. Sometimes you just have to accept and move forward, and sometimes you can find alternative ways to get what you want.

The strength of this method is that you determine in advance what to do in the case of possible obstacles, and do not give them the opportunity to interfere with you. The "if — then" method is especially necessary for busy people, because the list of problems that can disrupt their plans is much longer than the rest.

2. Finding problematic points

Now that you have a clear plan, go over it again and identify the moments when you will need to make special efforts. Not from the point of view of time spent, but from the point of view of internal motivation. These are your barriers, which it is important to keep a close eye on.

I once worked with a girl who was learning how to draw comics. She was good at drawing, but she didn't like to collect reviews about her work, although it was part of her plan. Thus, collecting feedback became her problem point, which complicated everything. I advised her to focus on him.

When we pay attention to something unpleasant, we can direct all our motivation to overcome it. The biggest difficulties arise when something is given to us with difficulty, but we do not realize this as a problematic moment and do not suspect that it slows us down. As a result, this internal barrier drags the entire project to the bottom.

Think about how many people don't learn a foreign language because they don't know which textbook to buy. This issue is easy to solve, but often it remains unresolved because it is not perceived as a problem point and does not receive due attention.

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28 Jan 2024, 00:04    0    0
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