Trying is harmful: what actually leads to high results
Did you know that in order to achieve high results, trying is harmful? Strict education of willpower. Unimaginable efforts to overcome obstacles. All this is no longer effective. And it’s been proven. Read this article:
- Start small
- Optimize your working day
- Form new habits
- What is a "commitment fixer"
- How to train yourself to try less.
While there are many books and articles on the Internet about strategies that prioritize global efforts, in practice, no one achieves goals if they are too hard on themselves. The maximum that you can achieve by working in a tight schedule and breaking yourself is nervous and physical exhaustion. The Nudge Unit, a British behavioral team, comes up with a different, more human approach to getting great results.
Trying is bad, so start small
When Victor Hugo was working on the historical novel Notre Dame Cathedral, not everything was smooth sailing. The writer missed the deadline. Tension and stress "breathed in the back" and he came up with an original way to solve the problem with self-discipline. During work, he undressed and hid clothes as far away as possible. Thus, he did not get distracted, did not go outside and handed over the novel on time.
We offer a simpler solution for those whose work is related to content creation or any other work on the computer.
How to get more done by making money online
Turn off your phone;
Do not go to social networks;
Limit your access to the Internet (of course, if your work does not involve online interactions).
How good habits lose their power
Everyone knows that the British are one of the most conservative and disciplined nations. But this does not prevent them from meeting difficulties on the way to their goals. This even applies to the Nudge Unit team. One of its members, Rory Gallagher, stopped going to football and rugby training.
This was influenced by a number of factors:
The volume of work has increased
Travel time to work from the outskirts of London from home to the office was long and exhausting,
A new habit, at the end of the working day, “passing a glass" in the pub was formed in a couple of evenings.
Are you familiar with this path? How often do you lose your “good habits” as soon as you loosen your grip, believing that today is a special day? There is nothing surprising in the fact that Rory developed a "beer belly" and began to feel dissatisfied with himself. One evening, as he was examining his newly-acquired "bundle of nerves" in front of the mirror, Rory made the decision to put healthy habits back into his schedule. And, as a true member of the behavioral analysis team, he decided to conduct a series of experiments on himself that would help not only him, but also other British people who had lost their “good habits”.
It’s bad to try, but the price doesn’t matter
To get back in shape, Rory decided to join a gym. But it turned out to be more difficult than he thought. To secure the commitment to regularly engage in their physical form, Rory took an expensive subscription. A few months later, our hero stopped paying for it. Because despite the high cost, he still skipped classes.
Geography of new habits
Rory didn’t give up. He changed tactics, as he believed that it was not the price, but the location of the gym. This time he chose the gym closest to the office.
- Paradoxically, for a member of the Nudge Unit, the proximity of the gym to work became an obstacle.
Day after day he made the same promise to himself under different sauces. “I will go there tomorrow…:
- “because today is dinner with my wife”;
- “because colleagues are calling to discuss a new project after work in a pub”
- "Because he’s so close."
There was always a reason to put off until tomorrow what you are too lazy to do today.
How the “commitment fixer” helps you keep your word to yourself
As part of a behavioral analysis project, Rory decided to develop a methodology that would allow him to say goodbye to his beer belly. He and his colleagues came to the conclusion that the "commitment fixer" effectively helps to achieve the goals.
You can read more about this strategy in the book Start Small, which, after a series of experiments, Rory and his colleague Owain Service wrote and published for a wide range of readers.
The strategy is to make commitments and back them up. This is quite possible if you adhere to three main rules:
Make a commitment to yourself. Make sure it’s not something unattainable and will easily fit into your daily schedule without creating a skew in it.
Record and announce. You can write down the commitment and post this “document” in a conspicuous place at work or at home. You can also let colleagues or family members know that you are going to make adjustments in your life. Obligations that are fixed and announced publicly are more difficult to violate.
Choose the right arbitrator who will test you at the "checkpoints". This should be a person you trust.
Trying is harmful: not only British scientists think so
Canadian psychologists Marina Milyavskaya and Michael Inzlicht conducted a series of studies. They began to study the behavior of students who set goals for themselves at the beginning of the year. As a result of their work, scientists made a revolutionary conclusion – to try is harmful to health and to the result.
Student Experience: The young subjects announced their planned goals and the experiment began. During the weeks that the experiment lasted, the students received alerts on their smartphones. The messages contained short questionnaires consisting of two questions:
1 Do you face temptations on the way to your goals every day?
2 Do you have willpower?
Marina Milyavskaya and Michael Inzlicht found that students who tried to suppress all temptations in themselves and made a lot of efforts in this direction got the poorest results. It became clear to them that self-control is not a skill that helps to achieve what they want. Moreover, an experiment with students showed that “strong-willed high achievers” not only did not succeed, but also felt inferior to others. They were exhausted physically and emotionally because they failed the mission.
How to be resilient and reach your goals
The process of achieving goals is much more subtle than it seems. Skillful warriors do not break through a wall with their heads. They take off their helmets and sit down at a table with the other team members to discuss a strategy where the least effort will lead to the best result.
So don’t beat yourself up if your goals seem unattainable right now. Build stamina gradually.
You can use the Commitment Fixer, the original technique of the writer Victor Hugo that we mentioned at the very beginning of this article, or develop your own method, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of existing practices.