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Divide & Rule: Psychological Productivity Hack Which Actually Works Magnificently!

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[This is 15th chapter in the #ProductivityHacks series currently running on Trak.in]

Psychology is the science and art of understanding our mind in order to derive mental functions and behaviors. No, I am not a psychologist, but have researched quite a few psychological theories with respect to productivity, and in this series, we will try to decipher three psychologically optimized productivity hacks, which actually works magnificently, when applied with full vigor.

In the last chapters, we had discussed few mind tricks, which can tremendously boost our productivity such as fooling our mind into believing that the task is not important, hence, allowing the fear to go away and increase production. Another mind trick was shared wherein we change our atmosphere, our location and trick our mind into greater productivity.

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In a very similar way, there exists a very essential psychological productivity hack wherein we divide the problem and win it; our mind comfortably fulfills our request, providing us more productivity within the same time.

Why Do We Fear Big Tasks?

The inherent problem lies with our visualization – when we say to our mind that we will have to climb a huge mountain with big rocks on the way, our mind will visualize an actual big mountain, and whisper in our ears that “hey, it is going to be a challenging task.. big rocks will create big problems..” and so on. This visualization itself will cripple your action and you will procrastinate. So, how does one avoid this fear and actually start climbing the mountain?

Divide & Rule

Divide whatever big task you have thought, and slice it up in several single, individual parts. The beauty of any ‘problem’ is that, it can be divided into smaller parts very easily. By dividing the bigger problem into smaller chunks of tasks, we trigger our mind into believing that the task is achievable and we start working towards it.

If we go back to the problem of climbing a big mountain, we can break it down into smaller tasks like

  • Task A: Cover 1 Km in the grass”
  • Task B: “Cover 2 Kms in the rock”
  • Task C: Walk 3 Kms in the river” and so on.

Now, what will happen is, our mind will visualize “covering 1 Km in the grass” as something very very easy (which it is!) and start walking. Once this first task is over, our brain will secrete certain hormone, congratulating ourselves on completing one task, which will create momentum to start the second task and so on.

Within no time, the whole task has been completed without any hiccups or problems.

Psychologically, it has been proved that our mind is more comfortable doing one single task at a time, rather than doing several tasks or a bigger task with visualization comparable to climbing huge mountain.

Accounting is one task which every entrepreneur I have met, hates. The mere mention of Book keeping and Accounting drains all energy out of entrepreneurs, and then they procrastinate and delay the tasks.

By implying this psychological trick, we can divide the whole process into smaller chunks of tasks, and before you know it, the whole task will be over. You can by dividing it into:

  • Task A: Invoice and Billing of Customer XYZ for 2013”
  • Task B: Payment details of Customer XYZ for 2013”
  • Task C: Updating the records into Tally” and so on.

Trust me, the whole accounting can be completed using this method.

Urge To Completion

Brian Tracy in his iconic book “Eat That Frog” mentions a very practical and feasible solution to procrastination and higher productivity: “Urge To Completion”.

He has interviewed and met some of the greatest time optimizers of our time, and have concluded that by completing a task and fulfilling a mission, our mind gets deep, compelling signals which makes us happier and satisfied. In fact, this satisfaction motivates us to have the feeling yet again by completing next task and the series continues, providing us with even better productivity and results.

And the whole base of this chapter is the same: Divide the bigger tasks into smaller tasks, complete them, and move further. Our mind and the whole eco-system exist to support this chain movement, helping us to finish off the tasks which we have ‘assumed’ to be tough.

In the next part of this series, we will discuss two more psychologically inspired productivity hack for better results and better output.

Previous Chapters in “#ProductivityHacks For An Entrepreneur” Series

  1. Understanding Importance of Time
  2. The Morning Activities
  3. The Four Step Plan
  4. Creating; Managing & Optimizing Lists
  5. Mastering Art of Collecting Information
  6. The Science of Creating a Process Out of Chaos
  7. How To Complete A Project Successfully
  8. The 6 Stage Model of Reviewing Your Productivity
  9. How To Fool Our Mind To Boost Productivity
  10. Four Ways To Relax Your Mind To Boost Productivity
  11. Importance Of 80/20 Rule In Productivity
  12. 9 Steps To Streamline Your Focus
  13. Setting Your Priorities Right Everyday
  14. Conquering Your Limiting Factors – Ways To Identify & Kill Them For Better Productivity

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