7 weeks… can you keep up?
this week in “reddit is actually useful” – blue tells you about the x effect method and how visualizing your progress encourages you to keep your streak going.
she also touches on the eisenhower matrix and how to better prioritize your time and tasks.
i just want you all to know this time change fuckin up my steeze.
i’m supposed to be running at least 30 miles this month, so tell me why the sky is already pitch black at 6pm and i gotta run with an elvis pocket knife i bought off ebay just to protect myself.
i dont even like elvis, i was just trying to leave some dude who left us negative feedback a bad feedback as well.
don’t judge me dude it was like 2011.
so on the 5th, i took my first run of the month, and by the time i got my shoes on and got around the corner, i realized i’d run into the center of a post-halloween spoopy movie.
lucky for me i’m a preparanoid person and brought a very stabby pen, like probably my favorite pen, shout out pilot precise v5 pens.
my elvis knife is nowhere to be found. probably lost in the move. actually 100% definitely lost in the move, i think i remember throwing it out with year old brick weed.
lately, i’ve really been tryin to hold myself accountable. the running thing has been hard, not drinking, consistent meditation, even if it’s only 5 minutes.
but i’ve been micromanaging certain habits lately, so i have a couple of tips to share this week that have been helping me out.
all right, lemme figure out how i’m gonna set up this pitch.
hey, do you suck at setting goals and then never following through?
or even more true to life, do you start doing the thing, and then fall off a few days later?
yes? is that a yes?
well, first off, you should be shooting me an email so i can set you up with some daily reminders, if you need it.
blue@hihowareyou.US, i respond to every email, even if it takes a few days.
but okay, you don’t have time for me, i get it, you don’t have to explain it to me, you’re not my deadbeat father, i understand you’re BUSY dad.
you got some habits you’re trying to stick to. you’ve tried reminders on your phone, repeating events in your calendar, probably even a couple of different phone apps.
but out of sight, out of mind, right? after a while, it’s easy to dismiss those phone reminders. i can start a habit as simple as meditating 5 minutes a day but as soon as i don’t do it one day, it’s easier for me to ignore it the next time a reminded pops up on my phone screen. then i usually turn my phone off.
the first time i learned about the x effect method was in a productivity subreddit thread. i’d never heard of it, but it’s so simple and straightforward.
this is the method they describe for starters. very easy.
take an index card or sheet of paper. make 6 vertical lines and 6 horizontal lines to give yourself a nice 7×7 grid. 49 squares.
now that you have that, what’s the goal? on the back, write your reasons for WHY you are making this goal.
short term, long term.
for myself, i started easy. well, i guess i should say “easy.” no drinking.
on the back of my sheet, i’d write something like, “alcohol causes liver failure, makes me make irrational decisions, i get face bloat, it fucks up my sleep, it affects my mood, it costs too much money.”
when you write down your reasons WHY you’re creating or breaking this habit, it is much easier to reference your card and have a visual reminder that keeps your streak going.
so now that you have your habit and your reason, you get the pleasure of putting your X’s into a box.
there is something mildly satisfying about looking at a string of giant X’s that SHOWS you that you’ve been making progress.
yeah, you can use an app, but how do you hold yourself accountable other than pure willpower?
i find the x effect method works for me because i have my reasons in front of me. i can physically touch my list and i can see, hey, i’ve been doing really good not having a drink for the last 6 weeks (with the exception of 2 days).
sometimes i do still want to drink mostly just as a stress bumper, but when i sit down every day and x another box out, i just see the words “face bloat” and i’m like nah fam i’m good.
now this is not to say i’ll never drink again. but when i think about it, i’m more inclined to not do it because i don’t wanna ruin this nice stream of Xs i already have down on paper.
to be fair, i did fall off 2 days in a row. but i went back to it, and that’s the important part for a wino like myself.
whatever you do, don’t make your goal too difficult!
if you start off with oh every day imma run 5 miles, you’re gonna burn yourself out real quick, really fucking quick.
say “hey lets do 10 minutes of exercise a day.”
it may sound easy, but there’s nothing from stopping you from doing more than 10 minutes. run for half an hour if you want. or just walk 10 minutes. but the goal is to be consistent.
if your goal is too difficult, you run the chance of giving up and dropping your consistency altogether.
you have to challenge yourself though.
setting up goals you already know you’re going to do isn’t working your willpower very much.
saying you’re gonna get out of bed every day, or i’m gonna actually go to work this morning, well that’s easy.
try something new this month. what idea have you been tossing around to improve yourself? could be some emotional or physical self-care. could be teaching yourself something new. could be a new fitness routine. could be a new hobby or eating better.
just remember your SMART goals.
make sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. this way there is no confusion on what you should be doing.
since we’re on the topic of time management, real quick, lemme introduce something to you guys called the eisenhower matrix.
it’s simple as hell too, it’s about teaching you how to prioritize what is important so you know where to focus your energy.
basically, you separate your tasks into a nice 4×4 quadrant. on your y-axis, you have important and not important. your x-axis is urgent and not urgent.
i know you don’t need me to tell you, but eisenhower was president for most of the 50s. before that, this hero was a general in the Army and was also NATO’s first supreme commander.
so you can probably guess this guy had to make a lot of important decisions day to day.
so how did he do it? dude separated his tasks into these 4 quadrants.
the first items you want to focus on are your Important, Urgent assignments. this is your Do First pile.
items that are important, but not urgent should be scheduled for a later time. decide when are you going to complete these things. assign it a date and time.
urgent, less important tasks should be delegated to other people, if you have that option.
not urgent, not important tasks… maybe you should consider not doing these things. use this quadrant to cut out any extra dealings you might find yourself wasting time on.
once you separate your to do list into these four quadrants, you discover areas of your day to day where you might be wasting time, and you can instead focus your attention on more important, more urgent assignments.
the eisenhower matrix is a good way to organize your own time and completing the tasks that matter the most. it’s not about collecting tons and tons of tasks but instead actually finishing them.
procrastination is a time killer, everyone knows this. right now i’m thinking about perusing reddit, but instead, i would rather finish this episode so i have something to share with all of you, instead of just mindlessly consuming someone else’s content.
creating goals and sticking to them is all about increasing your willpower.
one step at a time.
anyway, i’ve rambled on enough, but i need you guys to rate and review, subscribe wherever you are but especially on facebook.
keep up with me while i decide whether or not i’m gonna live in a van, how i’m gonna manage a social life AND a dog and whether i decide to run away to the mountains in the near future.
shoot me an email at blue@hihowareyou.US and give me reasons to keep making this podcast.