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  • Irina Ketkin, author of #adventuresofthelearner

Time Management in the New Year

Let's face it, we all make New Year's resolution and usually by the second day of the new year, we've all but forgotten about them. And it's no surprise! There is a lot of research done on the topic. I recently watched 3 videos that really explains this phenomenon:

But it seems that there are these universal truths that could be applied to help. Here's a summary (though I would really recommend watching the videos for more details):

1. Write every task that is on your mind. Just as you need to unload after a long day, your brain needs to get rid of all the distractions. So write down those pesky little tasks that roam around in your head. I have a very simple and useful trick i use when I don't have a pen and paper but I need to remember to do something - I switch my ring on a different finger or hand. Because I am so used to having my ring on a certain finger, it feels unnatural when I wear it somewhere else. So this discomfort reminds me that there is something I need to do. Also, by emptying your brain, you can then see more clearly how to prioritise your tasks. An oldie but goodie is the stone video.

2. Think of the long-term goal. Yes, we do want to save those 5 euros today by not buying a pack of smokes. And yes, we do think about how uncomfortable it feels when we do not smoke. But think about that wonderful marathon you are going to finish and how great you will feel after it... not to mention the compliments you will hear about how beautiful you look! There - instant motivation.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat! Some studies have shown that it takes 21 days to break a habit. A person I was coaching some years ago was battling low self-esteem and used a magnificent trick - she put a post-it note on her bathroom mirror that said "You are confident!" Every morning she would start her day by looking at it and that immediately changed her mind set for the day. Well, guess what, she did feel more confident after some time ("Fake it till you make it" comes to mind).

4. Replace bad habits. Replacing a habit is close to impossible for some people (I am not indifferent to bad habits either). But if you break down the habit into its components, then it becomes easier to control it. Again, for the full details, watch the videos above.

One of the elearning partners we work with,, have also put together a great playlist "Inspiration for your New Years Resolutions in 2016". Perhaps it can help you as well.

What tricks do you use? And how do you stay motivated? Let me know in the comments below.

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