The Strategist

Three habits to work better and faster

09/28/2018 - 12:53

Our habits directly affect how we work. If we are distracted by everything, if we cannot say no to idle conversations, then work turns into an endless struggle. A solution to the problem is habits that will make you more productive and effective. By adopting them, you will not work when you want, but when you need to.

By changing and improving the existing system, we can make ourselves as efficient performers and at the same time spend less willpower on this commitment than before. It is important to look at your work as a system of habits. Having a clearly defined system, you can determine for sure what contributes to successful work, and what does not. Once you’ve taken control over your habits, you will be able to timely improve components of this system. Here are three important habits that will enhance your productivity.

Not more than twice

The No More Than Twice method is very simple. When you want to quit work for the first time, do not do it. Persuade yourself to work on. When you want to surrender the second time, do not do it, keep working. If you want to quit for the third time, then call it a day without any doubts.

This habit is simple, but very effective. It helps us overcome barriers and at the same time frees us from psychological pressure, as we know that we will not work until exhausted.

It can be very hard to force yourself to go on for the first time, but you will enter into your normal working state pretty soon. If you refuse to perform an unintended task for the third time, you will have the opportunity to spend the time freed however you want, without depressing yourself with the idea that you need to keep working.

Getting rid of procrastination in advance

Instead of fighting against procrastination as such, you can convince yourself to start working earlier. It sounds simple, but in practice the habit will lead you to more efficiency.

Think about a task with the most priority for the day. This may not be the most serious thing, fulfillment of which takes all day, but some important daily recurring duty. For example, write a blog post or reply to customer messages. When you choose a task for yourself, start noticing when you set to do it. It may seem that effect of this approach will be minimal, but in fact your subconscious will start to remember when you start to work and will be ready to go into working mode earlier. You will no longer need to take any additional measures, your daily routine will move by itself, urgent tasks are now the first thing to do. 

Plan ahead

Another major reason for procrastination is poor planning, when you do not know what to do next. This habit is triggered by a state when you cannot give yourself a definite answer to the question of what you need to do next. Whenever you fall into this state, set the alarm clock so that it rings in thirty minutes, and start planning.

If you start to apply this method in practice regularly, then it may seem to you that the whole idea is simply a terrible waste of time. You can sit through the first fifteen minutes without writing a word thinking that you are creating problems for yourself and wasting the time that could be spent on real work. In fact, no work will be performed without a clear plan, just like no habit will be adopted without strong motivation.

The easiest way to start planning is to look at the situation from above. Why do you want to achieve this goal? In what way do you think it will be successful? There is an optimal way between your current position and any set goal, and you will find it only when you fully understand the task. Imagine how this path may look like. Rise above your stereotyped perception and imagine how someone else is going to success. This planning for 30 minutes will certainly inspire new feats.

Based on “Superhuman By Habit. A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time” by Tynan