Tagged With motivation

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For most of my life, I've just drifted. I would work passionately at one thing for a while, then I'd burn out on that thing and move on to something else. I felt like I had a good grip on what I needed to do today, but in terms of thinking about the big picture of my life, I just didn't have any idea.

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Contrary to our romanticised notions, writers don't just sit around all day, drink coffee and scotch and wait for inspiration to strike. Like any other job, they have to be disciplined and productive. While that does involve lots of coffee, it also requires hard work. Here's how some famous authors have kept their nose to the grindstone.

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In high school, our hockey coach was a demigod. Hockey at the school was so important it nearly transcended the concept of sports. Our coach was a natural teacher and dexterously wove in life lessons into nearly every hockey lesson. And there were a lot of hockey lessons.

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Have you ever told yourself no? I definitely have. I'm talking about thoughts like "Why bother applying? I doubt that school would ever accept me," or "This business idea isn't going to work. I'm too old/too young/too inexperienced". Or maybe "He'd never date me. I might as well move on." Or "My boss won't promote me anyway. Why should I even ask?" From what I can tell, we all doubt ourselves from time to time. The problem, of course, is that telling yourself no prevents you from getting started at all. When you decide not to act, you deny yourself opportunities. Once I realised this, I started following a simple little rule that has helped me stick to things and persevere when I normally would have given up. Here's how it works and why you should use it.

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There's an insidious quirk to your brain that, if you let it, can drive you absolutely batty. Tell me if this sounds familiar to you: You get anxious about confronting somebody in your life. That anxiety cripples you and you start wondering why you're so anxious. Now you're becoming anxious about being anxious. Oh no! Doubly anxious! Now you're anxious about your anxiety, which is causing more anxiety. Quick, where's the whiskey?

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It's tempting to want to start your workout with the easiest part, and build up to the more intense stuff by the end. But if you're having trouble motivating yourself to come back for another sweat session, flipping your workout around could leave you with better parting memories.

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If your productivity system isn't one that you can trust to actually help you work, it's no good. In a recent post at the GTD blog, David Allen explains why it's so important for your productivity system to trustworthy, or you'll wind up putting more effort into the system than into the work you need to do.