Celebrate every success
A recent post, Victory laps: complete it or delete it, was about victory laps. This one is about training my brain and creating systems.
Turns out, I’d come across a variant of the advice—“take a victory lap” earlier. I’d written about it here
I’d watched a video on “reinforcing goal-directed habits’ (here) that compares training q brain to training a dog. You can’t train a dog to step on a particular square unless the dog’s reward for doing it closely follows the dog’s action. You can’t train yourself to write a term paper when the reward comes months later.
Instead, reward yourself every step of the way. Good sentence! Good paragraph! Nice edit!
Why not. (Good sentence!)
I said: (Good!)
What he said made a lot of sense. I write, and write, and write, and never give myself the kind of enthusiastic reinforcement that he recommends.
What he’s doing is conditioning himself. And I realized that I need to recondition myself.
So I did. I went to a different place to write, worked hard at debugging myself, changing my behavior and rewards, and managed to get six posts written—and posted.
Repeat: and posted. That’s a month of typical work. And I felt great!
And then what happened? (Good question!)
Amazingly, with such success behind me, that practice disappeared. (Good!)
This post: Why all productivity systems stop working explains it in part. The other part is this: productivity notions don’t work until they’re turned into systems. (Yes!)
My blog seems to be full of good practices that I’ve learned—or maybe not learned. Maybe just encountered and recorded. They could have been turned into productivity systems. But they were not.
Maybe it’s time to learn the things Past Me has encountered and recorded and turn them into systems.
I could make a regular practice of rereading what Past Me has written and put some of his hard-won insights into regular practice for the benefit of Future Me.
(Yay! Time to get this wrapped up and posted.)
(Victory lap, coming up)
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