How To Set Goals And Motivate Yourself
Use Backwards Planning
Lena bought a course on Big Data because she read on a blog that it was +30% to her salary. And in general, it’s a shame not to know what CRISP-DM is in 2021. She started studying with enthusiasm, but after a week she got bored. It turned out to be not so easy, and she did not see the application of Big Data to her profession as a project manager. She never returned to the course. Why did it happen?
Because Lena had no purpose.
The concept of backwards planning is very simple: you need to see the goal from the very beginning. To do this, you must immediately determine what kind of knowledge and skills you will receive at the end. Then study the headings and brief descriptions of all sections of the course. Create a clear course structure in your head. And only after that you can think about buying.
I wanted to put this tip first. But then, up to this point, no one would have read it. I am also pissed off by advice in the spirit of “set a goal and go for it.”
But this is important. You need to clearly understand why you are studying.
Find A Study Partner
According to a study by Stanford University, working in pairs are more motivated: they were 53% more likely to return to tasks after the experiment, worked harder and didn’t give up longer.
This is the (only) plus of a university education – you always have a company to work and discuss. This makes it much easier to move forward, meet deadlines, and be productive.
If you are studying online, find opportunities to discuss assignments with other students. Skillsetter has closed course chats for this. If you don’t have such a chat, then try to start a dialogue in the comments on social networks, on a thematic forum. You can also take courses with friends. There will always be someone to talk to.
To time management(goals)
How To Manage Your Time(goals)
Start with easy tasks and then move on to difficult ones.
Vanya heard the phrase “ eat that frog ” in a lecture on productivity. He realized that first he needed to complete the most unwanted task, and then proceed to the rest. Then he decided to first do the most difficult task in the project: the Customer Journey Map and the presentation for the CEO.
Vanya was so tired while making the Customer Journey Map that he had no energy left for the presentation. He made it any way. The CEO was unhappy.
Lena also watched this lecture. But she decided to do something different: start with the easy, and then take on the difficult. She first filled out the weekly report, and only then took up the Customer Journey Map. After the break, she prepared a presentation for the CEO. Lena was also tired, but it was easier for her to work.
The brain hasn’t watched productivity lectures, so it’s working as best it can. It is difficult for him to immediately get together and complete a difficult task. It is more effective to do light exercises at first , gradually complicating the tasks.
Set A Hard “Outside” Deadline (goals)
People who don’t have a deadline complete a task 16% longer than self-determined people, and as much as 40% longer than people with an external deadline. An external deadline is one that is given to you by other people.
This approach works great in schools and universities. The date of the exam is known in advance, you cannot move it. All you have to do is sit down and start working.
When you study on your own, you have to set deadlines yourself. And it’s much more difficult. Research shows that people are not good at setting themselves optimal deadlines. We push them too easily. Work, birthdays of relatives, a mess on the table, an urgent trip to karaoke – all this can push study into the background.
To avoid this, you need to find external reinforcement. You have to be in an impossible situation.
The first option is financial investment. If you are planning to take an IELTS, or other paid certification exam, then set a date and pay for the exam. This will work as a motivator: if you don’t prepare on time, you will lose money.
The second option is a public statement. Write about your intentions to complete the course or pass the exam. Announce the exact date. It will be awkward to procrastinate, and you will definitely reach the end.
Don’t Read Textbooks Cover To Cover (goals)
Many people read textbooks like a new novel: from beginning to end, following the plot. Doing so is wrong.
When you read fiction, you do it for pleasure. When you read a textbook, you want to gain knowledge. Different goals, different approaches.
Harvard has developed an effective reading guide to make life easier for students. There are a lot of useful things, here are the most important:
Don’t start reading from the first page. First, take a look at the structure of the book. Read the preface, study the sections. Read the summary of each section. Look at what the author refers to in his bibliography. So you better understand the context of the textbook.
Read actively. Take notes and constantly ask yourself questions: “What does this graph mean?”, “What was said in this paragraph?”, “Why did the author make such a conclusion?”. This will increase your engagement and close the hated forgetting curve.
Once again: the textbook does not have to be read completely. You can start in the middle if the concept you need is located there. Then you can move on to other chapters. Always remember your goal – to learn something specific, and not just read a book.
Think In Advance About The Time Of Study, Place And Duration (goals)
Decision making is hard work. The brain gets tired of it. There is already a classic study that showed that American judges make decisions effectively in the morning. Then the brain gets tired and tends to simpler options that do not require thinking.
A person makes about 35,000 decisions a day. Whether you choose what to wear or which career path to choose, your brain will still spend energy on it and get tired. Plus, decisions take time. It turns out that the more routine decisions you make, the less time and energy remains for really important ones.
For this reason, many famous entrepreneurs always wear the same clothes : Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg. They don’t care how they look. They simply free their time and brain from making that decision.
If you plan in advance that every Friday at 20:00 you will study for 2 hours sitting in the living room, then you will be more productive . You will not spend your resources on solving these issues “in the moment”.
To the most important.
How To Make Complex Things Simple (goals)
Attach New Knowledge To Old
On Monday, Vanya was reading an article about positioning. And on Friday, I developed the funnel of my product. It seems like two different themes. However, Vanya connected them mentally. He thought about how positioning would be broadcast at each stage of the funnel. I made a table and understood better in both topics.
Be like Vanya. Connect the unknown to the known.
Teach Others What You Already Know
Information can seem confusing and unstructured until you try to explain it to someone. Try to teach, not just retell. So the new topic will become much clearer .
Lena started taking a course in product management. It didn’t work out with Big Data. She wants to beat the forgetting curve in order to remember all the information. Therefore, Lena decides to tell her younger brother about the must-have, performance and wow features of the product.
Her brother listened to her carefully, but did not understand how performance features differ from wow. Lena realized that she herself did not understand what the difference was. Without feedback from her brother, she would never have realized that she did not study the new topic well enough.
Solve Problems Yourself
Problem Solving is the skill that separates a good specialist from a great one. The better you solve problems, the more likely you are to succeed.
If you come across an unfamiliar term in the text of the course, google it yourself. If AppMagic does not work, try to study the reference material or write to support. The key is to learn how to solve problems on your own.
Learning shouldn’t be easy. If gaining knowledge is too easy for you, then think about it: are you really learning something new? Maybe you’re just having fun.
You have 16 tips for learning any skill effectively. To keep them always in front of your eyes, you can download the free How to Learn poster . The complex becomes simple, and the incomprehensible becomes understandable.
It remains to overcome the curve of forgetting. To advance in this fight, solve three tasks in the full version of the article on our blog and subscribe to my Telegram channel.
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Author : al muhammadi academy