I read about this somewhere in a book some time last week. Then I remembered I used to do this, but only in a very specific context. In college I had a summer job. Every summer I worked in a chocolate factory. The legal limit back then was 23 days. I took that job super seriously. Looking back am surprised I took it THAT seriously. I worked like a maniac and managed to reach or even outperform the daily targets the employees had.
A big part in that commitment was the following trick:
Each day as I was cycling to work I asked myself three times:
Are you going to give it your all today?
And every time I yelled YES, YES, YES!!! Probably while hitting my bike to put some extra energy behind the words.
I feel silly now for not using this trick in thousands of other situations. Situations much more important than a summer job. It’s not like I was looking to build a career in the manufacturing of chocolate. I just wanted to prove that little me could handle a back breaking factory job. (Every day was like 8 hours of intense full body work-outs, but with a lot more stress and noise and danger). At the entrance they always had sign: ‘x days without serious accidents.’ I don’t remember the count ever being in the three digits.
What I do now is the following:
I have come up with ten simple questions I automatically scream ‘yes!’ to. I read them every morning and yes, I yell yes to them. You can see the first two in the picture.
Since I have started doing this I notice am more in charge of how I choose to spend my time. When I start doing something I consider ‘useless’ (a subjective assessment, of course) I stop myself and redirect myself to go do something I consider to be much more ‘useful’. Useful = whatever I need to do to reach my long term goals.
It’s easy to start. If practicing tennis is important to you, just write down: are you going to practice tennis today? And every day you read that question and answer yes to it.
It works best when done right before starting your day.
Are you going to try it?