Stickability is like a muscle

I discovered this Quora question – in essence, wanting to feel more accomplished instead of wasting time on social media and boredom. Plenty of us have this issue, so I hope this answer is helpful for you too.

To achieve what you want, there will need to be some changes. Some changes will involve moving away from what you find easy and comfortable, but the idea is to replace those things with what you can do to feel more accomplished.

Looking at your question:

  1. social media feels like wasting life
  2. boredom and easily bored
  3. hate routine
  4. don’t want to waste time
  5. want to feel more accomplished

Let’s address them in order:

  1. Social media sucks you in, but it doesn’t feel good. Hold onto that fact – you don’t feel good about the time you are spending on social media.
  • Translate that feeling into a mantra – I don’t want to do Social Media.
  • Remember that there is something almost addictive about it, so you’ll need to approach this with strength and resolve.
  • We’ll replace that later with something you do want to do.

2. You are easily bored and experience a lot of boredom.

  • You don’t enjoy boredom.
  • Boredom can’t exist in the face of fulfilling activity and accomplishment.
  • We’ll work towards that.
  • You might need to fill gaps with something that interests you. For example, I’m typing this with music I like in my headphones. I sometimes work with videos playing as long as I don’t stop and watch them. I find ones that I can follow with an occasional look and mostly just listening eg Documentaries or non-fiction.

3. You hate routine

  • Many of us do. No problem.
  • You can still achieve without sticking to a routine. As long as you do the work to get to achievements, you can mix it up a bit.
  • You can work more on impulse as long as you find a way to make those impulses show up each day. We’ll get to that.

4. You don’t want to waste time any more.

  • If you can develop a ‘do it’ attitude, you’ll waste a lot less time.
  • You will need a list of worthwhile activities so you can work on them.
  • If not, you’ll need a big project or consuming interest. I’m not feeling that will suit you at this stage, but it might — up to you.
  • You can also develop a list of tricks and strategies to help you work.

5. You want to feel more accomplished.

  • Work out what you might be able to accomplish and these are the things to work on.
  • You don’t have to do it all the first day.
  • This might take a while to develop, and it will change with time.
  • You might not know what this accomplishment(s) is until you get started on a few things.

So that is your issue. Now we’ll come up with a list of what to do — all the things I said we’d get to later. The 1–5 order of things above will get a little mixed up now.

  • Accomplishments
    • Work out what you’d like to accomplish.
    • If you don’t know, find a couple of worthwhile things to do – just to get started. This might be to get fitter, or to get better at a sport, or to make a creative project like a painting, writing, a song, design or build something. Don’t worry too much about what these are if you haven’t got any strong desires. At this stage, just doing something is an accomplishment. Accept whatever it is as a stepping stone to something better.
    • Write down or record what you are going to do. Put it somewhere you’ll see it, even if it is on your phone.
  • Boredom
    • There is a danger you are bored of this already. Can you stick with it (with tweaks) just for the sake of accomplishment. You want accomplishment, so if it is writing a song (for example) and you are bored with that, you aren’t bored with the idea of having an accomplishment. Have a little stickability here for your own benefit.
  • Accomplishment
    • Break it down into smaller tasks, or parts. Guess what — each part is now an accomplishment when you get them done.
  • Don’t want to waste time.
    • You now have something useful to do.
    • Keep the mantra in your mind – I’m not wasting time, this is what I want.
    • Do it.
    • Use tricks, like setting timer for 30 minutes uninterrupted work, followed by a 5 minute break. Feel the accomplishment, rinse and repeat.
    • Bribe yourself with a reward when you have done a set amount of work.
    • There is the intrinsic reward of working towards accomplishment and not wasting time.
    • Find some entertainment that will help you work without slowing you down.

  • You hate routine.
    • Who says you have to have a boring routine?
    • Work at any time that suits you — make a deal with yourself to do, say, 8 hours even if they are 10pm to 6am, or an hour at a time.
    • Work in different places.
    • Work with different tools.
    • Work with friends if they won’t distract you.
    • Find a more fun way to do what you are doing — can you record your voice and get it transcribed? Can you make a video rather than a written document?
    • Be creative here.
  • Social media
    • Go cold turkey on social media if that suits your personality.
    • Reward yourself with a strict 5 minutes only after 30 minutes of work if this suits you.
    • Tell social media you are going to do x and report back the results — use it as an accountability tool.
    • Ask your network to be your cheer squad and support you in your efforts to do your task.
    • Use a social media blocker for all but a certain time(s) of the day.
    • Limit yourself to only a little social media each day and be your own police if you think you have the discipline.
  • Accomplishments
    • By now you should have accomplished something.
    • It doesn’t really matter what it is, you have an accomplishment.
    • Accomplishment itself can lead to passion.
    • Having one accomplishment can make you better able to design and achieve a better accomplishment next time.
    • Rejoice in what you have done, no matter how small. It can now grow into something bigger and better.

You should have learned that the feeling of wanting to work on your goals is like a muscle that improves with DOING and showing up to work on it each day. There are things you can do to improve your stickability.

3 comments on “Stickability is like a muscle

  1. Hi Jan,

    Social media can indeed be boring and a drain on time.

    I’m speaking here, really, mainly about Facebook. I don’t use many others, because I want to avoid the time-wasting situation.

    Watching other people’s lives in such minute detail can lead to boredom or envy, but when people seem to be having a far better time than I am, I try to remind myself that actually their lives are probably no better than my very comfortable lifestyle, but I just don’t feel the need to tell the world.

    For instance…. if I’m on holiday do I really want to tell everyone, so that unscrupulous folk can look up my address (SO easy these days) and pay an unexpected visit at dead of night? I think not!

    Being brutally honest, my main purpose for being on Facebook is for business. My real-life friends don’t use it at all – we pick up a phone and go out for a coffee!

    There was a “trend” a while ago for marketers to produce daily “Facebook Lives” to build their brand. I watched a few of them and really…. most were just people ranting on about their home-spun philosophies, bigging themselves up and “waiting for Facebook to gather an audience”. Thankfully this fashion seems to have died down a bit (or perhaps I’ve just managed to avoid them now). I enjoy enjoy a good motivational or business talk as much as the next person. But I use TED Talks to listen to professional presenters who can get a great message across in ten minutes or so…. not Facebook! Although I’m a sucker for all those puppy videos 🙂

    In my business Facebook is a great place for having a group where our team resources and updates can be shared, but I think as a recruiting tool it’s very time-consuming, and I’ve found the quality of business leads from groups very poor. People are there to sell to me, from my experience, however nicely they wrap it up with “How’s your day today?” LOL

    Quora is probably a far better source – and more interesting too! Although I’ve rather neglected it of late!

    When I have “had enough” of social media, which is more and more often these days, I just use the “Log out” button 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    1. I love TED talks. They make so much sense, I love following the developing line of reasoning and there’s so much to learn and be inspired by.
      You’re right about Quora. It is the platform that is going to take off. I’ve only been on for 3 months, but I’m (egotistically) watching my views as they are approaching 1/4 of a million this weekend. Gotta love activity like that and I love answering questions.
      Thanks for your quality comment.

  2. thanks, Of course, we’d all like to say that we can just float along while the … stickability is probably one of the strongest determining factors of… … your core muscles, your movement with or against the horse – pretty much everything.

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