Hi all, Dylan here again. In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about Careers 10 and the latest project surrounding it that we have done. In this project we studied self-help material to answer the driving question which was “How Does Balance In My Life Create Opportunities?”.
First off, we studied the book “Atomic Habits”, which connected to some other books we read previously, such as the 7 habits book. Understanding the way these connected to our own lives was key in this project since the project focused on balancing our own lives. Career-life balance was the main focus. Knowing how to balance work and fun is obviously difficult for all people, but it’s an essential skill for living a healthy life. We as kids tend to overlook the importance of this skill. I, for example, am awful at balancing schoolwork and fun. Long weekends like the one I’m on right now are the worst trap for a master procrastinator such as myself. Little tasks turn into huge stressors when I put them off, and it’s really annoying. Even so, I find myself putting off small tasks and then being confused when they turn out to be a lot easier than I thought they would be once I finally do them. My parents like to bug me about this and I can see why. Saying I’ll get my work done later is the worst excuse, because later never comes. Eventually, it’s an hour before the project is due and i haven’t even started yet.
That’s what happened with this blog post. I have been dreading it because I honestly found myself to be really disinterested in this project which was a huge roadblock for me. See, look at me, I’m doing it again. I’m complaining about procrastinating, which is literally just me procrastinating more. The more I complain, the less I do what I’m supposed to be doing, which is writing this blog post. As of here, I’m 327 words into this post and have made literally no progress. Enough with this, I’m gonna use the lessons I leaned in this project to help me finish this post.
Atomic Habits is a book written by James Clear focusing on small habits that can change your life. Habits are usually associated with negative things, for example, going to bed late (guilty) or being on your phone too much (also guilty), but the book focuses on making small positive habits that together, will have a large impact on your life.
In this project, we also learned about PKMs (personal knowledge managers). For example, we used Craft as a personal knowledge manager for this project.
Aside than the book, we also focused on positive brain training, which is a fancy way of saying “making habits”. We can train our brain to use the habits we learn about in the book to make our lives easier.
I found the book to be interesting but a bit repetitive at times, but I definitely agreed with a lot of the things said in the book.
A great tool I used to help with training my brain to form positive habits was the app “Things”. I’ve definitely talked about it before in other posts, but it’s a simple app that’s used for reminders and deadlines for projects and tasks. It takes advantage of positive reinforcement. It uses a deadline as a motivator, and the little animation when you check off a task as a reward. Your brain associates checking off boxes with finishing important tasks and when you check a box off, you get a little dopamine as a reward from your brain. That way, you associate checking off boxes with being happy, and it becomes a second motivator. The more you use it, the more effective it becomes, and the more efficient you become. Mike Boyd, the YouTuber does a great job at demonstrating/explaining this idea. I’ll link his video here:
I’d definitely recommend watching this video, it’s very interesting and personally, I like his accent.
Things works the same way as Mike’s “dopamine box”.
I use Things for a lot of tasks I need to complete but it came in really handy for actually reading Atomic Habits. I broke the book down into a bunch of really small and easy tasks which made it seem a lot less daunting, and it also gave me an excuse to click more boxes more often. Here’s what it looked like:
As you can see, I even broke each chapter down into two separate tasks, giving me even more tiny and easy tasks to complete. This worked really well and encouraged me to read more.
I think that pretty much sums up my wonderful journey with positive brain training and Atomic Habits. I hope you enjoyed all 809 words of this blog post. See you on the next one.