I am just going to say it, although I might jinx it: This is one of my better articles. Please read it, share it and comment on it! I’ll love you for doing so!
A lot of my articles fall under the category of ‘Observations‘. A lot of my articles are about observations I make, about personal development for students and some sort of study hacks. But how about the implementation? I mean, one of the things I try to stress the most is evaluating yourself: Having the knowledge of why you do certain things. But what to do with that knowledge? How can we put that knowledge into action. Or in general, how can we act more and think less?
Routine-driven action or Passion-driven action
Brett from PluginID recently wrote a nice post, as did Scott H Young (the guy behind Learn More, Study Less, a great book + video course, highly recommended!), see the post here. There are two kind of ways on how you can take action. One is routine-driven, you need to do certain things on a certain time in a certain place. The second is passion-driven. You do that you really want to do right now!
I am not going to discuss what the better one is, as we are talking about taking action right now! I’ll leave that for another time. Besides, the post of Brett will be sufficient.
Routine-driven action tips
If you think routine-driven action is the thing for you, you should have some sort of system. There is a great book called ‘Getting Things Done‘ (GTD), a book which explains the best method on working on projects. The question is always ‘what is the next action’. This is really a routine type of thing. GTD is hard to implement though, as you need to change a lot of habits right now, so for this case I would go with ‘Zen To Done‘, this is a book by Leo Babauta and he also talks about the GTD system, but he has a more efficient way of implementation.
So, read these books and learn how you can have a system of your own, a system that gives you the opportunity to have a routine-based action system!
For now, in the time you need to read the books, there is something you can do right now! Routine-based actions means you need to have goals every day. You need to accomplish something every day. So you need a goal-setting system.
Goal setting systems
I want to give you two systems. Again, these are not systems I invented.
- The weekly/daily goal system, by Scott H Young (this is discussed in the Learn More Study Less course, again: highly recommended!). You set goals every week. What do you need to accomplish this week in order to proceed on your project or what actions give meaning to your life? Write them down. Then, decide what actions you need to take every day in order to take steps forward. For instance, my weekly goal would be ‘read everything about the extrapyramidal system’. Then my daily goals would be something like ‘read chapter 3′. So I have a clear goal every day I need to accomplish every day in order to reach my weekly goal!
- The numbers goal system, by Glen Allsopp. Glen is a young entrepreneur and also the founder of PluginID. He also wrote the book ‘Cloud Living’, about living from the internet. Glen is one of my biggest inspirations in the internet. He isn’t a student or anything, but his enterprising mind is a big inspiration. Anyway, he has a system for the goals he has. He has his calendar and writes numbers on them. Every number means something else. For instance, I would have 1 for ‘writing an article’, 2 for ‘reading a chapter of neurology book’, 3 for ‘reading fiction for half an hour’ and 4 for ‘exercise’. My calendar could look something like the picture below. So everyday I can see clearly what I need to do and when. When I am done with something I can scratch it of my calendar and have a satisfied feeling!
In conclusion read ‘Getting Things Done‘ and ‘Zen To Done‘ and get a good idea of what a routine-based action system is and how you can do this. Besides that, implement a goal setting system right now!
This is a completely different thing, passion based action is the action you see in films a lot of times. Basicly, this is the ‘sexy’-action. You know what I mean, this is making a big cup of coffee and pulling an all-nighter just because you are so passionate about it, you really want to accomplish this right now and in a good way. The idea pops up in your head all of the sudden and you go crazy, you are going to work for 13 hours straight, just because you CARE SO MUCH! Yeah, this is of course a great way.
Passion-based action tips
Alright, I need to be honest. I am not a big expert on this. I am passion-driven most of the times though, so I know something!
- Have as less obligations as possible. If you want to work on something for 13 hours straight, you need as less obligations as possible. Simply because working for a lot of hours straight is not possible when you need to go to the birthday of your mother. You can’t pull an all-nighter when you have an important meeting the day after. Try to have as less obligations, meetings and appointments as possible in order to reach optimal passion-action!
- Don’t lose focus. The thing with passion-driven people is that they are always enthusiast. This is also the case with me, so I need to force myself to say no every once in a while. I need to keep my focus in order to complete something every once in a while! So, say no and focus on your core tasks!
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself! ‘I don’t have time to exercise’, ‘I’ll just eat a pizza real quick’ and ‘I can sleep when I am dead’ are sentences you will hear from passion-driven people. But don’t forget to take care of you every once in a while. Mens sana in corpore sano. You need to take care of yourself in order to reach you top-potential!
Act more, instead of thinking
We are coming to the concluding part. The only thing that is left to say is that taking action can be hard for a lot of people. Why? Because dreaming is more easy. Thinking about study patterns is more easy than implementing a pattern. Trying out new ways to study is more easy than adopting one way and getting the best out of it. I’ve experienced this myself. Overthinking let to the failure of my first test this year. A bummer, but I’ve definitly learned something again.
Taking action instead of thinking isn’t something we need to think about a lot, we just need to do it. You need to get in the flow of action. Everyday you should scratch something off your to-do list, everyday you need to do something what gives value to your life. Action is the way to get somewhere, thinking is not. Thinking can only improve the result and the journey. But you won’t complete the journey without taking the actual steps.
For now, read the recommended books, set up a goal system and figure out how you can make the most out of your passion-driven actions. And act. Do it. Take action, that is the only way you will get somewhere! To your success!
This post took me a long time to write and a long time to develop the ideas behind it. Please share/tweet/stumble/facebook it and comment on it! I’ll love you for doing so!
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