Do you feel frustrated when things don’t go as planned?
You know what to do, but somehow fail to do it.
You’ve heard that it’s good for your concentration and productivity to check email intentionally two times a day.
But you still find yourself in your email inbox.
You’re ready for a change.
How To Get Different Results
How would you feel to embrace the behavior you want?
You’d feel some momentum. You’d feel growth, right?
Why Change is Irrational
Why are so many people resistant to change, even when they know what to do?
It has to do with two things.
Each of us not only has a rational side, but we also have an irrational side.
The discourse that takes place within our irrational side often says “Do everything right away. If you can’t, then don’t start it at all.”
That’s usually the reason to do nothing.
When we are not consistent, we can be seen as hypocritical. And that is painfully recognizable.
The Solution: Do One Thing
I’d like to challenge you to consider this thought.
“Choose to do one thing or do nothing. Whatever you decide makes a big difference.”
You might even want to hang that up in your office. Every decision you make matters. But you cannot make more than one decision at once.
Change Your Approach. Do you always handle urgent matters first before doing the most important matters? Turn this around. Start your day with two important issues. You’ are always going to handle the urgent issues anyway.
Accept that you exhibit irrational behavior. That is completely normal. Make use of it. Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist, shares some of our irrational behaviors in his book Predictably Irrational. The more you know about irrational behavior, the more you can be aware of it.
Ariely describes that everyone suffers from procrastination. And those who recognize and accept this are more likely to use procrastination to their advantage. I manage never to empty my daily list. The last item always remains on. And if there is one item, then I put another one on. And then it is possible. Irrational? Definitely. But it works.
Another great book to read is You’re Not So Smart by David McRaney. He also provides some insights about how irrational behavior can be found in this book.
A key concept McRaney describes is the now-you and future-you.
The now-you and the future-you are two different people. The now-you knows that you should do something important that the future-you will adhere to the agreement. The truth is future-you doesn’t like to stick to his word. Future-you likes to change his mind and not do what now-you wants.
For now-you to make changes future-you will stick to, you must not give future-you any room for sabotage. This means you have to plan ahead a little. It means paying your gym membership yearly instead of monthly. The larger expense will motivate future-you to exercise. A smaller expense won’t motivate future-you to get out of bed.
Go Ahead and Experiment
Experiments never go wrong. Therefore, it helps to experiment. Start each week as an experiment. Then look at your results at the end of the week. What do you learn? What can you apply in the future?
For example, you could try reading first in the morning instead of starting with email. See how that goes.
Look at your results and continue to experiment. This feedback will help you move forward in many different ways.
What is your first experiment going to be? Please share in the comments below.