Is a schedule enough to transform a habit?

I found that only planning isn’t enough to support a new habit. Somehow any schedule isn’t right somewhere. I forget to incorporate things; I take more time than I anticipated – to name a few irritations. It will need something else too. Why and what?

We have 2 brains (neo cortex), and with planning, we only address one brain. So we forgot our other brain. To instruct the right brain we need to set up guiding principles or rules that guide us towards our goals. And those rules need to be worded in such a way we can make an actual picture of it, we can see us doing it. Only then can the right brain support the left brain. Forgetting the right brain means, it is likely to undermine our striving for results – as I’ve noticed.

My transformation rules
• I must make rules that support myself in developing my new habit of time-awareness and planning + acting on it
• I must plan, and act on it
• I must fight for my sleep as well as for my actions
• I must incorporate leisure time

And these are just the beginning. I’ll add to or replace or redefine them as I work with them.


Transformation – can we always get a task done quicker?

They say that when you allow less time for a task to finish it, that you can finish it quicker. Is that really the case? Are there not personal limits, like: energy, skills, social possibilities, or the nature of the task?

Or is “if we allow less time to work on a project, we often produce better results” true like it says: ‘often’? So is it indeed something that does not work all the time, but most of the time, especially for things we have done before?

“Parkinson’s advice to us is to create our own mini deadlines within the real deadlines in order to ensure we do not make a mountain out of a molehill.” []

I see 2 statements: One is creating smaller deadlines within the big deadlines, meaning: dividing the big deadlines in smaller parts, taking steps to accomplish something.

The other supposedly refers to preventing worrying or second guessing yourself. But there is a difference: if you are scientifically certain about what you know, then you needn’t second guess. Only if you’re not sure about what you know you can second guess. And, maybe sometimes you do need to judge. I therefore don’t agree about always not-second guessing.

The idea of putting a limit to things, by creating urgency, is sound, for life itself is limited – our personal life I mean.

And the idea of creating deadlines within deadlines, as steps towards the finish, that leads to getting it done quicker, since you figured the steps already out.

(19) Fallacies

Thu. 28-2-2013
Since the logic in reasoning is usually treated with even less respect than the data, we can expect many mistakes.
What fallacy categories are there? The formal and informal fallacies have several or even many types of mistakes.
• Formal fallacies are mistakes made in the logic, but not in the data.
• Informal linguistic fallacies can e.g. shift the meaning (accent).
• Informal fallacies of relevance are mistakes in logic and data that stem from a faulty (psychological) angle and are frequently used as a means of deliberate manipulation.

The fallacies of relevance have 3 subcategories:
– Omission: e.g. data are omitted (bogus dilemma)
– Presumption: e.g. data are not considered (apriorism) – hoping the listener will not check these.
– Intrusion: e.g. an emotion is evoked, where instead should be reasoned (emotional appeal).
The fallacies of relevance are used as a diversionary tactic, just to put the listener on the wrong track.

Being familiar with these types of fallacies, we can recognize them in arguments.  Understanding fallacies greatly enhances our communication skills, and it can prevent us from making these mistakes ourselves – with unintended negative consequences.

Since we ‘smell the rat’ in intended manipulative reasoning, their influence will be greatly diminished. When we contradict the fallacy – not afraid to ignore the manipulators’ intention – we have completely freed ourselves from this manipulation. As a positive side-effect, the manipulator might ‘flee’ – afraid of repeated exposure.

If we want to reason upright, we need to develop our logical reasoning, and examine the logic that prevents from making formal fallacies.

While I am walking and exercising the dogs, while I limit their annoying behavior, I see them already growing into happier dogs.

(18) How do we prevent miscommunication?

Wed. 27-2-2013
We need to evaluate the interpretation of the communication. This happens in three main steps.

1. We separate the logic from the data in the communication. Does this result in a logical form?
If yes, then we deduce its logical meaning or meanings. These are the logical implications of the communication.

2. Then the question is: How do we check the linguistic statement’s data?  We are looking to prove that the data are not-wrong.

3. Now we can safely conclude that we understand the meaning of the linguistic statement fully – it is proven valid – and we can build on its data with confidence. Such a statement is called sound.

Updates on my goals
The last hour up earlier. I have moved the start of my day up to 9AM.

Summary – How do we prevent miscommunication?

1. What is the logical form and thus what are its implications?
2. We prove the linguistic statement’s data to be not-wrong
3. If the statement can be reduced to a logical form, a meaning, and its data proved to be not-wrong, then we can conclude the linguistic statement is sound.

(17) Updates on my goals

(Tue. 26-2-2013)
Breaking a bad habit
Up another hour earlier. So far I have moved the start of my day up for about 6 hours(!). So my bad habit is gradually turning and is almost turned into a good one!

For the social (‘personal’) part of my contest
The animal shelter approved of me walking dogs for them. Today was my first ‘dogs-encounter’. It’s great to communicate with them and find they, a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire terrier, have a great time with me. This way both parties win. The dog owner was amazed that the dogs behaved better than usual with me.

I have designed a basic schedule that would support my writing, blogging, study and ‘personal’ goals. I already have some planning (goals) in place, and I need to get up just one hour earlier (today!) so that I have the time I need for my writing goal.

(16) Setting up an accountability system

Mon. 25-2-2013
Make a master list of all the things you’d like to accomplish & keep it close by.

• Which basics (ignition) keep you moving forward?
Setting time, working in advance, having lists in place & working on those

• Consistent action habits that will move you forward (daily/weekly/monthly) to contribute to your success:
so you can check off your milestones – keep tweaking this list

• Where to get ideas e.g. for content:
success leaves clues; model others

• Plan an off-site business development day to plan every month in advance for:
which studies, ideas to market (blog, article, forum, …), products/services; financial -, administrative -, organizational -, systems goal…

• Keep a victory log of your accomplishments:
a highlight sheet of your monthly accomplishments

• Plan 1-3 extreme focus sessions each week:
choose a #1 priority project from your master list

• List your top 4 priorities each day:
and work on those first
(Helen Raptoplous came up with these tips)

Did some time-registration, study and worked on accountability system to get it in place.

(15) On logic

Sun. 24-2-2013
What logic aims at
We want to understand arguments – sentence for sentence. An excellent tool to check that is 2-valued logic.
Why? Our brains work with 2 values as well, so logic is a representation of how our brains work and thus how understanding works.
What do we do to understand something? (Understand literally means “put together,” or “separate,” or “take, grasp”) We check: can the information be verified, or falsified? We do this, because we want to build further on the information that is presented to us. Therefore, if we can’t depend on the information – we don’t know that it will work as predicted – then we can’t build on this knowledge.

What are the advantages of logic?
What the method of logic does is make us understand on the deepest possible level what is said or stated. Through analyzing the information with the logical methodology, we fully understand all the implications of the stated, and we can’t misinterpret. So we don’t have problems in communication.

How – the steps
1. translate the linguistic sentence into a logical form
2. analyze the logical implications
3. add the statement’s data to the logical form
4. deduce what to exclude
5. from the combined logic -> data -> context further eliminate on possible interpretations
6. when still more than one interpretation is possible, ask or search till only one possibility remains.

Update on my goals
I do my early morning writing and jumping skipping rope daily. I like doing those and it gives me some structure. I haven’t written new stuff, but cleaned up what I had already. It takes some more time and thinking about how to practically implement these new habits of monitoring time and sticking to my goals. Today I noted just with pen and paper the times I spent and on what. This way it seems quicker than starting the computer, have it run all day and for every new task walk towards it to type it in.

Another thing: I thought it’d be a change for the reader as well as the writer, to talk about logic.

(14) My goal

Sat 23-2-2013

Since I have little experience in goal-setting, I did some research. Goals have 3-5 qualities that are linked, abbreviated to SMART, but no necessarily in that order.
Specific – put numbers on it; Measurable – it progresses with perceptible steps; Time-limit – at what specific time it will be reached; Actionable – actions you can take; and Realistic – also depending on others, which means it is not entirely up to you.

My goal is to write a book of about 150 pages on logic and I would like to have it written in 3 months. But if I break it down into smaller short-term objectives, with the pace at which I am writing now, I will either need to write a shorter book, or take more time to write it. I decided to try to write 1 page a day, which is a challenge for me. In 5 months I’ll have a printable version ready.

So this goal is specific (write a book on logic in printable version), is measurable (150 pages, 1 page per day), it has a time limit (5 months), it is actionable (I have been studying logic before), and realistic (I do spend the time writing).

Then daily, weekly and monthly I need to measure if I have reached my 30 pages goal. This should leave no gap between my end goal and the everyday goal.

In addition, I need to subdivide the goal. Logic demands not only recalling from memory or prior thinking about the subject. I therefore need to allocate 75% of the writing time to writing and 25% to research.

(13) Simple time management

First I ask myself: What is my vision for which I need one year to achieve it?
2nd I divide this big goal in 12 monthly goals. Starting with the end in mind, I work back. What do I need to have achieved in December to keep myself on track – actualizing my vision?
3rd at the beginning of each month, I pose the same question for my weekly goals.
4th at the end of every day, I create a very specific daily task list for the next day.

Daily task list
1st review the current day’s list. Cross off the done tasks. Take the tasks I haven’t done to my new next day’s task list, which begins with those uncompleted tasks.
2nd looking at my weekly goals to see if I need to add tasks from this list.
3rd I check my inbox. Depending on the importance to me and the urgency I decide to answer either the following day or later. Other emails I trash or file.

Daily task list layout
On a pad of lined paper about 15×22.5cm:

|                                        | Complete task   | Check with  |
|Id | Task                           | Estimated time | Actual time | (Delegate)
|    |                                  |                       |                |
|    | create daily task list     |                         | 15 min     |

Duration of daily tasks
1-hour tasks: 2-3
½-hour tasks: 3-4
15-minute tasks: about 12.

Scheduling length of task depends on:
– Needed concentration level and the duration before finished
– To match your energy level throughout the day.
Task that take several hours are broken up and done over a few days. Advantages:
– it will be easier to accomplish
– and the quality is better, because you’ll have more energy and time to review and revise your work as you go.

Strive for getting all the important tasks and most of the less important tasks done (almost) every day, so at the end of the day you’ll feel good about yourself. It asks balancing to do as much as is realistically possible to you (compare the estimated with the actual spent time), while aiming at achieving the long-term goals as quickly as possible. Always work from your weekly goals – and thus keeping the monthly and yearly goals in mind too.

From I adapted it to what I’ve read about time management. This system seems simple enough and thus doable for me. I’m adapting it because I need to structure my day if I want to walk 2 little dogs starting Monday afternoon.

(12) How to solve conflicting working methods?

Wed 20-2-2013
How to stay in a time framework, if I can’t respond to the set time, because I need to finish my daily blogging? This is costing me more and more time, which is not the intention of my blogging.
Is there a quicker way to get ideas? Can I e.g. ‘envision’ stopping on time? Probably not, because time is something physical. But stopping when I haven’t finished, which I absolutely need to, throws me in a time-versus-finish conflict.

Just don’t promise? Nah, that’s too easy.

Or write at an earlier hour? But I don’t want to have my own book-writing be squashed because of blogging!
How about: write earliest, like at the beginning of the day for 20-30 min. and then turn to book-writing? And write in the evening again to finish my blog post? So I cut the blogging in pieces, in between giving my mind time to grow ideas. Let’s try out and see what happens!