Printable July 2020 Calendar: -Self-control solutions are all the things we try in order to get ourselves to behave better. We think that if we pay a lot of money to join the gym, we will feel guilty and we will keep going. It turns out that guilt does work—but only short-term. Eventually, the guilt goes away. We buy hundred-calorie cookie packs. Because we think that if it’s just a small pack, we will eat fewer cookies, and so on. Then finally, there is ego depletion, which deals with what happens throughout the day as we resist temptation over and over. The results show that it takes energy to resist each temptation and that as we use more and more of this energy as the day goes on, we have less and less of it left, which increases the chances that we will give in to temptation. What should we focus on to help us manage our time better? I think one of the biggest factors is progression markers. For many things, it’s hard to figure out how much progress you’re making. When you answer a thousand e-mails, you see every e-mail you answer. When you are thinking about a difficult problem, it feels like maybe there were thirty wasted hours and then finally you had a half-hour at the end that was useful—because the idea kind of came to you.
Printable July 2020 Calendar
There isn’t a linear progression and a sense of progress. So I think the big question is: how do we make ourselves feel like we’re making progress? Because if you can create that progress, I think many of the other things would become smaller barriers. If you’re working with a pen, you have evidence of all the things you’ve done. You can see your path. But if you work on a computer, it’s just the current state of the work—you don’t have the previous versions. If that’s the case, you could think about some tricks to remind yourself about your progress. Maybe we should keep a diary? Maybe we should keep older versions of our efforts? Maybe every day we make a new version of the document we are working on so that we can keep a visible record of our progress?
Leigh Michaels, the prolific author of more than eighty romance novels, once said that “waiting for inspiration to write is like standing at the airport waiting for a train.” Conditions to produce one’s craft are rarely ideal, and waiting for everything to be perfect is almost always an exercise in procrastination. Most celebrated creative minds don’t have wealthy patrons who support their lives and proclivities regardless of what they produce. Musicians have day jobs, poets are also professors, and feature filmmakers shoot commercials on the side. Like it or not, we are constantly forced to juggle tasks and battle unwanted distractions—to truly set ourselves apart, we must learn to be creative amidst the chaos. Negative distractions that interfere with creative work can come in many forms: the television set, undone chores, social media, e-mail, coworkers who want to gossip, anxieties, self-doubt. Removing oneself from all of this interference is theoretically possible—the Yaddo colony has certainly served as a temporary, interruption-free retreat for hundreds of the great artists—but is unfeasible for most of us. Beyond this, abandoning one’s responsibilities at home and the office while taking up residence at an artists’ retreat is impractical and potentially irresponsible. Plus, there is that pesky truth that anxieties and self-doubt can multiply when fed with silence and an abundance of time.
Researchers at Stanford University discovered in the 1970s that one of the best ways to combat negative distractions is simply to embrace positive distractions. In short, we can fight bad distractions with good distractions.
In the Stanford study,” children were given an option to eat one marshmallow right away, or wait a few minutes and receive two marshmallows. The children who were able to delay their gratification employed positive distraction techniques to be successful. Some children sang; others kicked the table; they simply did whatever they needed to do to get their minds focused on something other than the marshmallows.
There are many ways to use positive distraction techniques for more than just resisting marshmallows. Set a timer and race the clock to complete a task. Tie unrelated rewards to accomplishments—get a drink from the break room or log on to social media for three minutes after reaching a milestone. Write down every invading and negatively distracting thought and schedule a ten-minute review session later in the day to focus on these anxieties and lay them to rest.