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Productivity Hacks

This lesson is a part of an audio course How to Finish your Goals by Ana Maria Matamoros

Make It Easy

Professor BJ Fogg, the world's leading expert on behavior at Stanford University, says that most of us make our goals at the peak of the motivation wave, and so they're very easy to do the first days, but it's the wrong approach because we should be doing them at the bottom of the wave. We should strive for consistency, and we can only be consistent if we make our goals really easy to work on every day.

If you make it easy, you take motivation out of the equation. Even on a day when you don't have motivation, if it's easy, you'll still do the behavior.

Big companies know this, that's why Netflix and Youtube roll one episode after the other, and Amazon had $300,000,000 more profit the year that they came up with the 1-click.

Rule #1 for behavior change: You have to make it easy.

Rule #2: Every behavior needs a trigger. You have to stick your new behavior to an existing habit. For example: Changing into your gym clothes before you brush your teeth in the morning, makes you more likely to exercise, or write in your journal while you enjoy your coffee.

"It's not repetition that creates new habits, it's emotion." —Professor BJ Fogg

If you feel bad and you eat chocolate and feel better, you will associate chocolate with feeling better. This is how we wire bad habits.

Dr. Rangan Chaterjee, the author of "Feel better in 5" says that "Good habits build up in the exact same way that bad habits do" therefore, 5 minutes is short enough so that the busiest person feels that they can fit it into their life, but it's long enough to feel like significant change.

Make It Fun If You Want It Done

Fun isn't optional. It's necessary if you're going to kill perfectionism and make it through.

People who succeed have reported 31% satisfaction and 46% performance. Fun checks both boxes.

Look at the difference between hating going to the gym, or dancing to get fit.

What is at the heart of your goal? To lose weight and be healthy. You can achieve it either by suffering (going to the gym) or having fun (dancing).

Getting to the heart of the goal allows you to connect to the heart of the results.

Ask yourself: Does the method that I'm using connect with who I am?

If you enjoy community, you'll be successful at the gym surrounded by people. If you're an introvert, you may be more successful doing a fitness video at home.

There's nothing fun in SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, time-bound)

We believe that goals should be difficult, that you'll need discipline, effort, and hard work to reach them.

Build on Your Strengths

We sometimes think that what we're naturally talented at doesn't count. On the contrary, your talents are your gifts. You're meant to share them with the world. You're meant to heal, help, bring your light to others, and you do so by providing them with your talent that shines through your voice, your products, and your services.

Don't Monetize Everything That You Do

This is a rule that is especially relevant for multi-passionate entrepreneurs. Since we can come up with so many ideas and get excited about all of them, we think they're a great business opportunity that might be lost if we don't pursue them. And many times, we try to follow them, but in doing so, we get all scattered and dilute the message of what we were originally doing.

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Written by

Ana Maria Matamoros