One of the best ways of being effective in your learning
is to use mental tools and tricks to inspire and motivate yourself.
First, when it comes to learning in general, you should realize that it's
perfectly normal to start with a few
negative feelings about beginning a learning session.
Even when it's a subject you ordinary like,
it's how you handle those feelings that matters.
Researchers have found that nonprocrastinators put their
negative thinking aside saying things to themselves like.
Quit wasting time and just get on with it,
once you get going, you'll feel better about it.
If you find yourself avoiding certain tasks because they make you
feel uncomfortable, you should know there's
another helpful way to re-frame things.
And that's to learn to focus on process not product.
Process means, the flow of time and the
habits and actions associated with that flow of time.
As in, I'm going to spend 20 minutes working.
Product is an outcome, for example, a
homework assignment that you need to finish.
To prevent procrastination you want to avoid concentrating on product.
Instead, your attention should be on building processes.
Processes relate to simple habits, habits that coincidentally allow you
to do the unpleasant tasks that need to be done.
For example, lets say you don't like doing homework in a particular class.
So you put off working on the homework.
It's only five questions you think.
How hard could that be?
Deep down, you realize that answering these
five questions could be a very lengthy job.
It's easier to live in a fantasy world where the five questions, or
the ten page report or whatever, can be done at the last minute.
You're challenge is to avoid focusing on the product, the answers to the questions.
The product is what triggers the pain that causes you to procrastinate.
Instead, you need to focus on the process or processes.
The small chunks of time you need over days or
even weeks to answer the questions or prepare for tests.
Who cares whether you finish the homework or
grasp the key concepts in any one session.
The whole point instead, is that you calmly
put forth your best effort for a short period.
Notice how in this picture physicist and
surfer Garret Lacy is focused on the moment.
Not on the accomplishment of having surfed that wave.
For you, one of the easiest ways to focus on process is to focus on doing a
Pomodoro, a 25 minute timed work session, not on completing a task.
The essential idea here is that the zombie habitual part
of your brain likes processes because it can march mindlessly along.
It's far easier to enlist the friendly zombie habit to
help with a process, then to help with a product.
By focusing on process rather than product, you allow yourself to
back away from judging yourself, am I getting closer to finishing?
And instead you allow yourself to relax into the flow of the work.
The key is when a distraction arises, which it inevitably will,
you want to train yourself to just let it flow by.
Of course, setting yourself up so that distractions
are minimal is also a very good idea.
Many students find that either a quiet space or noise canceling headphones
if, if you can afford them, can be helpful when they're really trying to concentrate.
I'm Barbara Oakley.
Thanks for learning about learning.
WordReference English-Spanish Dictionary © 2018:
|procrastinateviintransitive verb: Verb not taking a direct object--for example, "She jokes." "He has arrived."||(put off, do nothing)||posponer⇒vtrverbo transitivo: Verbo que requiere de un objeto directo ("di la verdad", "encontré una moneda").|
|dejar para después loc verblocución verbal: Unidad léxica estable formada de dos o más palabras que funciona como verbo ("sacar fuerzas de flaqueza", "acusar recibo").|
|procrastinar⇒vtrverbo transitivo: Verbo que requiere de un objeto directo ("di la verdad", "encontré una moneda").|
|Tania knew she should be working on her thesis, but she was procrastinating.|