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Mar 13, 2019 08:10:31

Combining something you hate with something you love

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 532 words | 451🔥 | 451💌

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 451🔥
Total posts: 451💌
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I had multiple topics to choose from today, but @santhoshguru had a recent post that helped me decide today's topic.

I've seen several posts on 200WAD recently discussing procrastination @chacha and losing the motivation to write and talk of breaking streaks @lucjah. 

Motivation and procrastination are not issues when you enjoy doing something. Maybe in the beginning, writing on 200WAD was fun and exciting. You couldn't wait to visit each day, see if you have that little red circle next to your name, read and comment on a few posts, and then churn out that day's masterpiece. But sooner or later (it happens to everybody) you start to lose that initial excitement and motivation.

How do you keep going? What about tasks that you know you should do but you just don't like doing? There are plenty of books and articles with suggestions. I have a suggestion that has worked for me.

I can't stand exercise. Some people love it. I don't. I'm the guy who still has nightmares of being back in physical education class in high school. The problem is that I know I need to exercise to improve and maintain health. 

One option is to set up a reward system for myself. If I exercise for 30 minutes, then I'll allow myself some reward. Not bad food of course. That would ruin the whole point of exercise. Maybe watching an episode of some tv show. This can work, but it is delayed gratification.

I think a better option is to combine something I enjoy with exercise. The simple example is that I started listening to podcasts during my daily walk around the neighborhood. I tend to listen to deep, heavy-on-the-information podcasts, and listening while walking is the ideal arrangement. I used to hate just walking around the neighborhood. Now I actually look forward to it! That's the advantage of combining a "love" task with a "hate" task. Over time, you can actually change the way you feel about the task you don't like. @santhoshguru discovered this same phenomenon about driving.

I know someone who can't stand brushing his teeth. Who knows why he has this aversion. He found some channel on YouTube that has short videos of silly things and practical jokes, and he watches those videos while brushing his teeth to make it a better experience. He said he always laughs at the videos, which makes his mouth open wider for a better brushing experience. I'll take him at his word on that one. The point is that he found a way to make an undesirable task at least tolerable if not outright enjoyable.

As McCartney sings in Hey Jude:

Take a sad song and make it better

Think about tasks you have been procrastinating about or tasks you just simply don't want to do but you know you need to do. How can you pair them with something enjoyable to increase your motivation to complete them? My challenge for you today is to pick one task you have to do regularly that you do not enjoy. Find a way to pair it with something you enjoy. Rinse and repeat. Let me know how it works out for you.

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    @brandonwilson I am leaning more and more towards single tasks versus multi tasking, but music (better still listening to podcasts) is a no brainer. Now where's that Vacuum cleaner? Thanks for posting!

    Amar Vyas avatar Amar Vyas | Mar 19, 2019 04:34:39
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      @amarvyas You are right. Most humans are not built to multitask effectively despite what people think about themselves. In particular, if you really need to focus on a task then you should have no distractions. But I think audio really lends itself well to multiple tasks as an enhancer. I recently did a rare triple task of meditating while sitting in a massage chair and using red light therapy. It's possible, but I'm not going to make a habit of it.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 18, 2019 18:00:45
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    @brandonwilson - This is a good idea... hence why I listen to music when I want to work out :).

    I heard this concept from an eocnomist call Dan Ariely in a Ted Talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_code/transcript?language=en

    I also listened to the Peter's podcast with Jake - VERY very interesting. I will have to listen to it again. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Keni avatar Keni | Mar 14, 2019 00:27:27
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      @keni Interesting talk. People talk about trusting gut and intuition, but it makes you wonder how often bias plays a role and we do things that are not productive or even harmful.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 15, 2019 17:57:27
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    @brandonwilson Great idea. I'll try this one and get back to you with the results. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    maginga avatar maginga | Mar 14, 2019 00:11:49
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    @brandonwilson Started doing something similar to you by reading/listening to audio books while on the exercise bike.

    You have to pick a really enjoyable book though! But it definitely does help.

     avatar | Mar 13, 2019 16:38:09
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    @brandonwilson An excellent advice to improve accessibility of things I hate but have to do.

    5plus6 avatar 5plus6 | Mar 14, 2019 00:19:50
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    @brandonwilson oooh great idea! Gonna try it out in some of the errands I hate doing! Thanks man!

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Mar 13, 2019 23:15:56
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