Productivity Tip: Catching your sub conscience algorithms.

Lately, I’ve been trying to catch my own procrastination habits – i.e. why I don’t get as much done as I want to, or should. This seems to be a serious issue when it comes to my own productivity.

Say, I’ve got some down time, I’m curious if a certain purchase has gone out of our bank account yet. It should really only take about 5 minutes to open my laptop, fire up a wireless connection, get on my bank’s website, check the account, and close the laptop. But, my thinking usually goes something like this:

* I’m curious if this transaction has gone through yet.
* Oh, but I’ve got to open my laptop.
* Oh, and I have to start a wireless connection.
* Oh, and sometimes the wireless connection doesn’t work.
* Oh why bother.
* Nothing gets done.

What a mess. When I start to notice my pathetic reasoning and lazy self talk, I realize that not only am I putting it off because of unknown delays, but also putting it off because these few steps are deemed a hassle in my quick little sub-conscience algorithm.

Having caught my sub-conscience steps, the obvious next step is to come up with new steps, a new algorithm. Then, next time something comes up, to use the new one instead. Here’s a revamped version:

* I’m curious if this transaction has gone through yet
* It will take less than 10 minutes
* Do it.

Period. Don’t think or do anything else. Just do it.

What sub-conscience algorithms do you have that need changing?

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