You have heard productivity gurus often say that in order to go to the gym the next morning, you have to lay out the clothes near your bed at night, or perhaps even sleep in them. This sounds like excellent advice. But despite that friction-busting move, here’s what happens in the morning.
Alarm clock: RRRRiiiinngggg!
You: Okay, let’s go to the gym.
Your brain: Whiiiiiiiiine…. I want to sleep. The bed is comfortable. I am not getting up.
Continue reading Treat your brain like a two-year old child to beat procrastination
Have you ever been through one of those days where nothing seems to get done? You sit to work on a complicated algorithm and just cannot get your mind or the code working. You may be unable to finish a financial report because you are getting distracted by a mind that’s unwilling to do maths at the moment. You start doing your homework, but give up midway.
Similar things happen with physical tasks too. You may not feel like going to the gym after a tired office commute. You feel too lethargic to go to the supermarket and buy the weekly groceries.
How can we get things done with more success rate throughout the day? By planning your day better and scheduling activities such that your mind, body and your environment encourage you to perform your tasks. Here’s how. Continue reading Getting your tasks done every day
Recently, Maharashtra banned the use of plastic bags. Shops stopped handing out polythene bags overnight and people found themselves carrying things in their hands or going back home to set out with a cloth bag. It caused some confusion and friction for a week. Then everything felt okay. Carrying a cloth bag seems like second nature as Maharashtra has accepted and fully integrated the ‘no plastic’ rule.
Why wouldn’t people bring their bags before the ban? Why did it take a ban to spur them into action? And how could people change so quickly?
People already knew that use of plastic is questionable and that cloth bags are environment friendly. There were thousands of awareness programs about the ‘evils’ of plastic. But the systems were in favour of plastic. With polythene bags costing a fraction of a Rupee, shops would give you polythene bags free of cost. People didn’t need to carry bags with them and would set out empty-handed. Not anymore. With cloth bags being costlier, vendors stock up only paper bags. But paper is unsuitable for wet (curd) or really heavy (watermelon) grocery. People had to take stock of their behaviour and alter it. They needed a nudge.
And nudge, we too did. The featured image of this post shows our home’s front door, with a cloth shopping bag attached to the hook. It is nearly impossible for us to forget our bag behind. In this post, I want to emphasise the importance of nudges and triggers. I want to say why mere awareness is not enough and why you should have a system of triggers to make you really do something you plan. Continue reading Grow awareness, but nudge yourself
Book title: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Author: David Allen
Buy on Amazon.in | Amazon.com
The biggest problem in our modern life is that we overload ourselves with information and objects, but don’t have a good system to organise them. As a result, everything is a tangled mess, where we can hardly find what we need. Be it our houses or our email inboxes, we always face two problems.
- We search all over the place and don’t find what we need immediately. This wastes a lot of time, which could have been put to productive use.
- Eventually we give up our search and get copies of the same thing. This adds to our clutter and the size of the proverbial haystack, making it more difficult to find things the next time.
In his book, Getting Things Done, David Allen attacks the problem with a 5-pronged plan that you can start applying right now. Continue reading Book summary: Getting Things Done by David Allen
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