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Thoughts on doing difficult things

Discussion in 'General Mindset, Motivation, Beliefs' started by Connor_Motivasis, May 13, 2019.

  1. Connor_Motivasis
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    Connor_Motivasis Contributor

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    My main focus for the past two months has been building and breaking habits. As a result, I've tested a lot of different strategies and tools to help form the best possible routines for success.

    Recently I've started doing tasks I dislike in the mornings for the sole purpose of overcoming obstacles on a regular basis. Nothing crazy, small things like taking a cold shower or drinking black coffee (which I hate).

    It's made those small tasks less difficult as time has passed and it's also seemingly made other things I used to find painfully difficult to start much much easier (Specifically getting my work day started takes far less initial willpower)

    I wanted to get other peoples thoughts on the concept. Do any of you practice something similar? Am I a lunatic for doing it? Give me your thoughts.
     
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  2. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Good on you for becoming more disciplined. How will these new habits serve you?

    Doing something just for the sake of doing it is not optimal. Sometimes it's helpful, but, for instance, drinking black coffee just to do it is a little aimless. What are these changes ultimately helping you achieve?
     
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  3. RazorCut
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    RazorCut Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I wouldn't consider a cold shower or drinking black coffee a task, more of a punishment (personally I hate cold showers unless I've just come out of a sauna, but I have learned to love black unsweetened coffee). So that does make you a lunatic in my book.
    ;)

    Starting your day with your most unpleasant task (what Brian Tracy would call eating the frog) is certainly a good method as, once it is out of the way, you know it's all down hill from there.

    I've found that we generally procrastinate over a task because we think of it like an iceberg. Over 90% of an iceberg is under the waterline. We see the tip of the iceberg and consider that the easy part, getting started. We assume that all the graft, the hard slog, the sweat and the toil, is hidden away and only shows itself once we have committed to action.

    We envision it to be so hard that we will make a poor job of it which creates all sorts of fear of failure, of humiliation, of letting others down etc. so our Amygdala (lizard brain) has a hissy fit and does its utmost to put us off. However the truth of the matter is that often the hardest part is just in getting started.

    How often have you put off doing something only to find, once you have finally forced yourself into motion, that, not only was it no where near as bad as you thought it would be, but that you actually somewhat enjoyed the experience?

    I came up with a method that helps overcome the inertia of starting. I visualise a task as an inverted iceberg.

    90% of that huge block of ice is now above the waterline with just 10% below. The ice above still represents the effort required to start the task. The small amount below is the effort required to complete it.

    Looking at it this way it it is far easier to get started as you know that there is much less effort required in actually completing the task which helps calm the lizard brain down.
    :eyes:
     
  4. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    @MTF has a thread somewhere about taking cold showers.


    Personally, I like my warm shower to wake up to in the morning. I have some of my best ideas then too.

    I don’t attack the things I’m avoiding first. I work through my todo list based on the priority, and also on what I feel like doing next.

    I observe what I tend to avoid and what I tend to do first, and I try to lean into those tendencies instead of fight them.

    I realised that doing my books and accounts always filled me with dread, so I outsourced that as soon as I embraced outsourcing.

    I observed that I can’t stop myself responding in forums and Facebook groups... so I’ve harnessed that tendency and use it to create content I now polish and drop into a paid email newsletter.

    Not sure if that helped. Just wanted to add a different perspective. Sometimes we should do what’s easy, and avoid what’s difficult.
     
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  5. astr0
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    astr0 Grinding Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'm doing pretty much the same.

    Difficult tasks and important tasks are usually two completely different things.

    I start with Urgent/Important tasks, which are very rare and just small ones to warm myself up.
    Important and difficult tasks are always closer to the afternoon. More difficult in the evening cause I'm more somehow more productive then and start my day from zombie-mode.

    And for really difficult I usually allocate a few whole days with small tasks in between to relax...

    This whole thing works only when you have a REAL DEADLINE that you can't afford to miss or postpone and you're good at estimating what it takes at least pretty close.

    This system is based on marking tasks Urgent+Important/Urgent+Not Important/Not urgent+Important/Not urgent+Not important. Don't remember where I learned it, but seems to work the best for me both from the time management and productivity perspective.
     

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