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Get-it-Done Sessions – Experiments on You

March 29, 2012

I have big news: Scientist experimentingYOU have the power to successfully break bad habits and improve your daily productivity. And guess what else? You also have an inner scientist just waiting to help you do it!

Teaching people how to break their bad habits of procrastination and create new habits of regular productivity is one of my most important personal goals. That’s why, in my previous posts, I have showed you how you must first become aware of your most important personal goals(like the “It” that you want to accomplish), and how you also must learn to set realistic weekly and daily goals.

Let’s explore this goal-accomplishing business a little further by focusing on your work sessions- or as I call it, your “Get-it-Done” sessions: how do you set a realistic goal for each one? How do you determine what constitutes a realistic personal goal for you?

This is where you break out your inner scientist.

No matter how well you did in high school Biology, you have an extremely skilled scientist within you! Each time you take on something new, you make an educated guess (a hypothesis) based on what you think you should be able to do. Then, you experiment to find out what will really happen. And finally, you make changes based on the results.

This is the exact method you can use in your Get-It-Done Session: the Get-It-Done Experiment. You first create a goal based on what you think you should be able to do — your hypothesis. Then, you test it to find out what actually can happen in the time you have allotted. Finally, when you get your results, you can restructure your goal based on the actual data.

Unfortunately, we don’t usually see the process this way. Typically, undertaking a new daily action might look like this:

  1. Goal: I want to start building my muscle strength!
  2. Hypothesis: I should be able to lift heavy weights for two hours!
  3. Post-experiment Data: Ugh, I’m so disgusted with myself. Why did I ever think I could make any improvements? I only worked out 20 minutes and I ache all over!
  4. Conclusion: I’ll give this a try again next week. Maybe. I’m tired.

The same thing might happen when attempting to write more blog posts:

  1. Goal: I want to start writing more blog posts!
  2. Hypothesis: I should be able to write 5 blog posts by working 6 hours straight!
  3. Post-experiment Data: Ugh, I’m so disgusted with myself. Why did I ever think I could make improvements? I only wrote one blog post and stopped after 2 agonizing hours.
  4. Conclusion: I’ll try this again next week. Maybe. I need chocolate — immediately.

Improve your inner dialog by choosing this viewpoint instead: “Oh, how interesting… The data shows that I wrote one blog post and had to stop after 2 agonizing hours. Next time I will aim to do a rough draft of a blog post one day and finish it the next.”

Do you see this difference in attitude? The first reaction is penalizing and defeatist. The reframed conclusion is objective and positive.

Guess which type of reaction leads to decreasing bad habits, increasing good habits, and becoming a happier human being?

You won’t change bad habits of avoidance (or stop procrastination) by beating yourself up every time you make an effort. This is why it is pertinent for us to take an objective look at our behavior while undertaking these goals, to view the results as data, and to then make appropriate adjustments to our daily actions.

Think of it this way: If, after every time you ate a certain food, it resulted in you feeling nauseated, you would stop eating that food, right?

The same is true here. If your Get-it-Done session does not give you the results you want (and makes you just as nauseous), make changes and note the results.

And if your Get-it-Done session gives you satisfactory results, stick with that daily action until it becomes a new habit.

 

Most importantly: be kind to yourself. Your results after each session are simply data that can help you create your most productive daily actions – and most successful Get-It-Done sessions – so that you can achieve your personal goals.

What do you think about viewing Get-it-Done sessions as experiments? Have you tried objectively examining your habits on a regular basis? Share in the comments below!

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