Updated: Feb 10
For 95% of us reading books, making to-do lists and sticking to new year resolutions doesn’t work. Do you know why? The reason is simple; we are not in the same physical and mental state throughout the day. We may be a different version of self at 7 AM in the morning and 10 PM in the night. The difference in the state makes it difficult for us to change our habits and the gap between our actual self and aspirational self continues to exist. In some instances, it widens over a period of time.
Changing our lifestyle and personality doesn’t come easy, and even when it does, the route is an arduous one. The instant gratification monkey inside us starts looking for the low hanging fruits to satisfy the hunger pangs, which means the ways of getting results without working hard. The search engines backed by the powerful Artificial Intelligence bots recognize our search patterns and start feeding the related content on our timeline, across social media platforms. So we have a sudden surge of videos and articles on super productivity tips, celebrity habits, success habits etc. Unconsciously we tend to consume more information, watch videos and fall into inaction trap. Blame it to dopamine effect, temporarily feel-good factor or the need to instant gratification; it pushes us in competition with our future self. By not doing things we should be doing, our present self takes away from our future self. In such circumstances, we can’t expect to reach our aspirational state, and therefore status quo persists.
We would agree that on most occasions, our interaction with others is either a verbal or non-verbal binding contract, where there are consequences for non-adherence, which ensures that things happen as planned. This consequence management system builds up a structure of reward & penalty for doing and not doing something. Ironically, we never get into any such contract with ourselves, and that’s why things don’t change
To get rid of the self-procrastination trap, inculcating a system of consequences management is necessary. Effective implementation of this structure requires accountability. One effective way is to get a friend, family or colleague as an accountability partner with an absolute authority to enforce the carrot & stick approach. However, there is a caveat; we tend to take people in our close circle lightly, so it doesn’t work many a time. The possible solution and according to me, one of the best ways is to get a Coach by your side who can guide you and would also double up as an accountability partner to ensure things happen.
Declare your goal, make a promise and design a pay-off matrix with a condition of accepting a significant penalty on breaking the contract. The crucial thing is to ensure that penalty is substantial so that it installs a “Positive Fear” in our mind and pushes us to proceed as per plan. Once the brain recognizes, the heavy pay-off for not sticking to plan it sends the signal to our body and action happens. The fear psychosis can push us to achieve insane things, which we might not have even dreamt off.
The pre-requisites of this process are:
Choose Accountability Partner with absolute authority.
Formulate the system of consequences management.
Clearly define the reward and penalty structure.
Define your goal and make the promise.
Make Fear your Friend & see the magic happen.
I know it sounds dramatic, but it is indeed a robust system and takes productivity to an altogether different level at a rapid speed. The system is all about making irreversible decisions that make “manifesting” your dreams the only option because not achieving it would create indescribable suffering.
If the technique connects and appeals to you at some level, I would sincerely urge you to test it independently.
Do share your feedback in the Comments Section.
PS: If you liked the write-up and would like to discover more of such unique techniques to elevate your productivity, you may want to check out my Amazon #1 Best Seller book on productivity-Hacking The Productivity