A few habits of mind to get things done

This time, share a few habits I’ve been practicing for a long time.

I hope it will help you to get more done in the New Year.


1. Design the frame of the finished product first
After reading the first two articles, many friends may think: I have an idea, then I should act immediately, don’t think too much.
But it’s not. Before taking action, one step is essential. That is: imagine what the finished product will look like when it is finished.
From a product to a project to an article, I spend about 10% of my time thinking about it before I start:

What problem am I solving by making it?

What will the finished product consist of? What does each section contain in general?

What are the key nodes in the process of doing this?

Why? For two reasons:

design the finished frame to direct your actions and minimize the“Futility” of the process.

2) more importantly, this link will keep you motivated to take action and keep you motivated to get it done.
In 2018, psychologist Emmanuel Manalo conducted an experiment. He asked 131 participants to write a paper, and the experimental group to design the overall framework and structure of the paper before writing it; the control group started writing it. And stop them at different times.
It found that participants who designed the framework first were generally more motivated to finish the paper-even if they were behind the others.
Here’s why: When we imagine the finished product in advance, we go from“Building the whole” to“Filling in the frame.”. In the latter case, it is easier to observe how close we are to completion. This“Absence” keeps the project in our minds and drives us to finish it as soon as possible.
This is a positive application of the CICCONI effect: by keeping the finished product“Unfinished,” we increase our motivation to fill it.
Therefore, the“Image of the finished product” and the“Final reality” does not have to be the same. In the process of“Filling in the frame,” you discover that the frame has many flaws, and you can make adjustments that are so different from the original idea that it’s fine.The most important thing about it is that it provides a constant motivation for your actions and keeps you in a“Catch-up” state at all times.
In fact, that’s how I get a lot of my writing done: Before I write, I frame the whole thing with a few key words — I never outline, because most of the time, i wouldn’t have followed the outline at all — I’d have laid out a logical line:Why can I draw such a conclusion, what is the reason, what are the main influencing factors, what is the support. And so on.
Then, according to this logical line to consult information, add cases, fill the content, as it“Trunk”, so that the details of the article become more prosperous and full.
In the process, it is entirely possible to change the details, the priorities, and eventually even the theme, but that does not matter. As long as the core logic line does not deviate, the core of the article is tenable.
So one suggestion:

Set aside a period of time (I’m around 10% , for example) to think about what the finished product will look like before you start.

The time has come, whether or not it is perfect, to start with this framework as the basis for action.

In action, and then combined with actual feelings and feedback, to adjust the framework. While fine-tuning, while filling.

Another interesting technique is the “Hemingway effect,” which also works in common: if a task requires continuous action, so when the urge to act is at its most intense and you know exactly what to do next, stop, pause, and take a break.
Why? Because in this situation, when you go back to your previous work, you can minimize the time it takes to“Get into the zone” and take action in one go.


2. Creation and generation
My translation of Dirty beginning. Put simply: When you have a framework for the finished product, start filling it in, no matter how poorly or poorly you start.
A lot of people’s mindset is, “I’ll start when I’m ready. Make sure every step is perfect.”. The best way to counter this inertia is to“Scratch”: keep the first step as simple as possible, so that every step after that is an uphill climb.
When your mindset is“Make sure every step is perfect,” your expectations are very high. So, when you actually do something, what’s the easiest thing to focus on? The gap between reality and ideal. This gap will continue to create pressure on you, the formation of resistance.
But in turn, when you take a simple first step, it becomes a new reference point. Every step after you, just need to be better than the first step, can continue to improve, make up, it will be OK.
So, what is generation?
Build corresponds to build. Plan every step in advance, do not need to spend brain, step by step to do it out, this is the construction.
(generated)。In turn, we should first lay out the general trunk, direction and key nodes, and then, around this framework, we should conceive the fragments one by one, and let them collide, compare, compete, and eventually precipitate and combine spontaneously, the rudiments of the finished product are organized — this is generated.
For traditional projects (such as engineering construction) , must rely on the way the construction, planning every step, tight fit, can not have any mistakes.
But for projects that focus on innovation, generation is a better approach. It allows you to explore as many possibilities as you can, within the limits of the necessary conditions, and to put them together into an ordered whole.
Each of its components may not“Fit together” as tightly as they should, but it allows you to go beyond the conventional possibilities.
How do the two come together?The initial mindset reduces resistance for every step you take: any action that helps with the results and framework can be incorporated;

And the resulting thought patterns, can help you put these steps, actions together, let them compete with each other, and ultimately precipitate a more effective way to integrate into a whole.
Big to a business model, a product, a small article, a solution, can be combined with the way of drafting and generation, to achieve its“Cold start”, let it first land to practice, then slowly adjust in action, spiral up.


3. Face the unknown and fear
Why do we procrastinate, fail and give up when we have a plan and know what to do?
Many times, the problem is not the challenge itself, but the challenge of our unknown and fear.
When you face a new challenge, it activates our“Threat recognition” system in the amygdala. With this system, we will:

it’s easier to focus on the difficulty and newness of the situation (where experience is at odds)

magnify this difficulty and the new sex, and magnify the consequences of failure, resulting in a disastrous Lenovo.

3)3) tend to adopt avoidance behaviors to avoid facing the new opposite sex directly.
In a nutshell: we are more susceptible to fear, overestimating the difficulty and risk of a challenge, and thus more inclined to avoid it, delay it, and not face it.
Driven by this mindset, it’s easy to fall into the trap of the Parkinson effect, where we keep doing the easy things, the easy things, and saving the hardest challenges for last Until there is no time, then one breath to“Sprint”, leave it to fate, as short as possible“Face it” time.
This is inefficient. Because in the process of procrastination and avoidance, these thoughts are actually causing you constant stress and anxiety.
In short: fear of the Unknown is the biggest limiting factor in our effectiveness and ability to act.
So it’s a good idea to frame the finished product while also thinking about what parts of the process I’ve never been in contact with? What are some things that I might find difficult? What is my greatest fear?
Then, put them in the front row and give them priority.
In other words: not to“Shorten” the time to face it, but to“Advance” the time.
For example: When I first gave an online lecture a few years ago, what worried me the most? I’ve never been on the air before. Do I Stutter? Do I Stutter?
So what do I do? I immediately made a summary, typed a draft, a person at home to speak, practice up.
The first exercise didn’t work out so well, but it made it clear to me that the worst-case scenario was over and there was nothing to worry about. On this basis, I practice every time, is getting better.
On this basis, and then to slowly conceptualize the theme, polished content, step by step to adjust.
What is the most effective way to release fear? Not to avoid, but to face. Let Yourself Do the hardest thing, and you’ll find that it’s really just that.
It takes a little bit of gumption, but once you’ve taken the first step, there’s a path to follow.
Even if you don’t, you’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to think about alternatives and Plan B. It’s better than putting it off until the last minute.


4. Control 15% of your progress
This is an interesting approach.
In the third point I mentioned: When You Face A new challenge, you will be more likely to focus on its new and difficult, and magnify it. At this point, you will be blocked by it, and thus lose momentum.
An effective way to do this is to try to break it down first, then use a pattern that you’re familiar with to“Fit” as much as possible to the parts that are broken down.
For example: You Want to do a program, it is strange to you, then, might as well put it to decompose, into a number of small programs. For each small project, look for similar patterns in your experience, and try to migrate and apply the past to achieve the same or similar results.
But it’s not the most effective way to turn a problem into a familiar pattern — it eliminates the potential for feedback and improvement.
So, there’s a balance to be controlled here.
I have a “15% rule of thumb”: When I do something that goes beyond the bounds of experience, make sure that 85% of it is familiar and manageable, and the other 15% is Everything Changes and adaptive, in this premise, often can achieve both results and growth results.
For example: Improvisation is something I’m not good at. What Am I good at? Is the design and planning of content. So Can I first prepare the content, and then through repeated practice, so that they are very familiar with, and even become“Automated processing.”.On top of that, with about 15% improvisation, do some fine-tuning and tweaking to suit the occasion?
15% is an interesting number. A 2019 nature paper found that learning is best when you have an 85 percent accuracy rate (corresponding to a 15 percent error rate or uncertainty) .
Scale also mentions a“Law of scale”: when a system doubles in size, the base support required increases by 0.85 times, meaning that 15% of the space is saved, we can explore new possibilities.
So, when you’re faced with a new challenge, it’s very high, probably over 15% , up to 50% , 70% … Try This:1) decompose it into multiple nodes and steps.2) for each step, replace some of the content in a way that you are familiar with and in control of.3) the ultimate state is to make sure that every step you take is controlled by“85% old mode, 15% new mode”.
This is perhaps the most appropriate level of“Out of your comfort zone”.


5. Strengthen the implicit self
In the third point, I said: What is the greatest resistance to our actions? It is often the unknown and the fear that comes with“Threat identification”.
What, in turn, can overcome this uncertainty and fear? That means I’m not motivated. What do I do? The“Implicit self” mentioned in.
That is, when the threat recognition system is activated, you are focused on the new and difficult aspects of the task, and your attention and control points are external. Then all you have to do is try to pull it back inside:From“How hard it is,”“How worried I am,” to“What I’m good at,”“What I’ve done.”.
Once the implicit self is activated, it can bring about positive emotions, thus dispelling the negative emotions caused by challenges and lowering barriers and barriers.
Most introverts and highly sensitive people, however, tend to avoid mistakes more than they do successful experiences-but this avoidance can lead to increased threat recognition, which can hold you back.
So, what you should do is: in ordinary life, consciously to collect, build and improve their“Implicit self”, so that it contains and contain more positive experience, become your emergency toolbox.
Here’s how:
Collect other people’s affirmation, approval and praise to oneself at ordinary times, turn over to look at at leisure time, give oneself positive psychological hint;
At work, make a conscious effort to note: What are the things that most excite me and give me a sense of accomplishment? Other People’s affirmation of me, the most frequent is where to fall? Find your strengths and uniqueness.
When you’re done with something, write down: What Have I learned from it? Next time you have a similar problem, how do you think about it? Sum up their own process and methodology.
Set aside some uninterrupted time each day to reflect on what you’ve done, what you’ve accomplished, your accumulated knowledge, your tendencies, and your plans for the future. … practice the ability to focus on what’s inside you.
Through these methods, we can strengthen our“Implicit self”.
This allows you to:1) quickly divide the challenges into“What I’m good at” and“What I’m not good at”;2) for“What I’m not good at”, break it down further and find out“What can be replaced” and“What can’t be replaced”(see Point 3)3) for“Irreplaceable,” recall your experience with unfamiliar problems and tell yourself: I have the confidence to overcome it;4) plan, dissect, think, list, and prepare for action based on your own experience in solving unfamiliar problems.
This is a slow transition from state-oriented to action-oriented. When your mindset changes, there is no problem that can really trap you.


6. Exercise fluid intelligence
Finally, mention some small exercises you can do in your daily life.
All of the above methods are based on the premise that you need to think and analyze the problem“Appropriately” to help you take better action.
But this ability, if not exercised, will slowly degenerate.
There are two kinds of intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystalline intelligence. Crystalline intelligence is the accumulation of knowledge, while fluid intelligence is“The way of thinking about things”. Together they constitute a way for one person to understand and intervene in the world.
Fluid intelligence peaks within a few years of adulthood. Then, if you exercise regularly, it stays steady until old age, but if you exercise less, it stays steadily lower.
。What happens when fluid intelligence is reduced? In general, the brain“Ages,” that is, it tends to be closed, stubborn, rigid, and tends to“Oversimplify,” to see things in the most labor-saving way possible, ignore the core, differences, and focus of the problem.
Therefore, in daily life, you can try to exercise more fluid intelligence. For example:

As you read the article, think: What is the logic of the article? Does it make sense?

When you see a phenomenon, think: what might be the reason behind it? What factors might be involved?

When you see a theory or an effect, think about it: How Does It Work? What else could it be connected to?

When you see an action or an action, think about it: what is its starting point? What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?

When you see a concept or point of knowledge, think about it: what is it similar to? What’s the difference?

It doesn’t have to have results, but practicing this way of thinking regularly can keep our brains active and thus less likely to age.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *