Stop Procrastinating and Get Started in just 10 Minutes

Procrastinating is really all about being afraid to begin. Follow these quick exercises to work out why you are scared and how to move through it.

Via Pixabay

Procrastination isn’t a sign of laziness, it is a sign of fear. It isn’t about not wanting to do the work, it is about being too overwhelmed to start.

There is a lot of pressure around the start of a project. It feels like a commitment, we are deciding to work on one thing and not another, and so there are doubts around that decision and the stress of taking a decision at all. We also often overestimate the importance of the work done at the beginning, as though it will determine the outcome of the project. That isn’t true. You can do basically anything at the beginning of a project, it should be the most fun part, the part which involves throwing ideas around, the part where you are the least hemmed in. And yet instead it is the part which we fill with the most apprehension. The work you do at the beginning isn’t like the foundations of a house, it doesn't have to be perfect or else the entire edifice will collapse. The work you do at the beginning is the warm-up. It is a training session. It can be totally invisible in the final product.

The important thing at the beginning is not to get off to the perfect start, it is just to take action, any form of action, and chase away the fears that are making you procrastinate.

In just ten minutes, you can conquer those fears.

Spend two minutes identifying what is driving your fear.

There are four main reasons you might be afraid to get started:

  • You have too many ideas and are afraid to commit to one
  • Your mind is suddenly blank and you have no inspiration at all
  • You feel like you’re going to make a mess of things and are putting a lot of pressure on yourself
  • You have no idea where to start

Examine your emotions, write down on a piece of paper the things that worry you about the project you are about to get started on and see which category they fit into the best.

Spend eight minutes doing the corresponding exercise

  • Too many ideas?

This can mean having too many ideas of projects and not being able to get started on any single one, or it can mean having too many ideas about how to tackle your particular project and not being sure which to pick.

Begin by making a list of all the angles or projects that are trotting around your brain. Reread it. See which stand out, which your instinct tells you is right. That is your shortlist.

In the case of choosing a project, ask yourself if any of them are time-sensitive — for instance, an article linked to a certain upcoming event. If so, start with that project. If not, sometimes it is best just to let the universe decide. Draw one idea out of a hat. Schedule the others for the coming days or weeks.

If you are choosing an angle on a piece of work you are already sure of, begin by seeing if any of them can be joined together. Maybe one angle could really just be a paragraph in a piece with a different focus. If not, open a word document, type out all the different ideas. Those will be the things you follow up on, do more research until your instinct tells you which to follow. And if that never happens, pick one angle out of a hat.

The next step: conduct research into each of the ideas left on your shortlist.

  • Lack of inspiration?

Put a timer on for eight minutes, and write down every thought that comes into your mind. Even if they have nothing to do with the project. Just let the words flow. Analyse every element of the topic — what exactly is the brief? What does that mean? This “brain drop” will give your imagination free space to roam. Ideally, you should do this in a place without any distractions, a place where your imagination generally feels stimulated. For me, it works best in a park or anywhere outdoors, but you might prefer home, in a warm bath or in a café.

Next step: do something boring, like washing up or ironing or walking around the block. Don’t take a phone, don’t listen to music. Ideas will continue to pop into your mind.

  • Fear of failure?

This fear can be harder to identify, because it often just makes you feel nervous or blank. The problem is usually a lack of self-confidence, or the fact that you are putting too much pressure on yourself, thinking of this project as the make-or-break event of your career. The problem here isn’t in the work at all, but in your mind.

Take a sheet of paper and answer three questions:

  • What is the worst thing that could happen?
  • How could I bounce back from that?
  • What past projects have made me proud, what have they taught me about my own abilities?

If you are into rituals and hippiedom, like me, you can make a ritual out of this. Light a candle or some incense. Put on some relaxing music and put yourself in an environment which makes you relax. Breath deeply.

Once you have finished, keep this list visible on your desk or working space and reread it whenever you feel scared or lost.

Next step: write a to-do list broken down into small, non-threatening steps (see below).

  • No idea where to start?

Take a sheet of paper and separate it into categories according to the different kinds of activities go into doing a project. For writing, I usually make the categories Contact, Research and Write. In Contact I write the names or professions of anyone I would like to talk to, Research can be books to read or facts and figures to pull up, and in Write I jot down any sections I know I will write, or any ideas concerning the final piece. Do a six-minute brain drop where you write down any task that comes to mind in the corresponding section. Then reread what you have done, highlight priorities and order your tasks into a to-do list. For big tasks, break them down into sections. You should end up with a list of small, clearly defined steps.

Next step: just do number one on the list!

Whatever category you are in, it is important to stick to the ten minutes. Your mind needs to know, going in, that it will just be working for ten minutes, and then it can stop. Then take a break. If you are on a short deadline, make it a short break and then start work again for half an hour to an hour.

I do these short exercises whenever I catch myself procrastinating. I hope they can be useful for you, too, and if you have your own tricks and tips I would love to hear about them in the comments section!

Why you should always choose the most difficult projects at work?

Why you should always choose the most difficult projects at work?

In college/university, there are strict deadlines, and there is GPA. There is a balance between taking classes that teach you the most, and avoiding classes that could significantly decrease your GPA. Sometimes, there is a desire to avoid the most difficult classes, if the negative effect on grades might be too strong.

At work, “grading” is different. You can rest assured that in the better companies, your performance on a difficult assignment will not be compared to your co-worker’s performance on an easy assignment.

At work, deadlines are often flexible, as much as bosses and clients sometimes argue otherwise. The reason is logical and can be examined with the idea of fairness. Fairness at work is about delivering a project or product according to agreed upon expectations and being paid an agreed upon amount for it. A one or two day delay, or even a one week delay is often a superior outcome to delivering a subpar product or project on time. Fairness from the point of view of a project is between the client and the company. In contrast, fairness at college rests on giving everyone in class the same amount of time to complete a project, and see who does it best. It would be unfair to give one student an extra day when the rest of the class turned the assignment in on time and could have benefited from the extra day. Hence, it’s logical for universities to be strict on deadlines. Fairness in university is about equality of opportunity, it is between all of the students within a particular class, and even between students who took the class in past or future semesters. The lower the number of separate entities involved in an explicit or implicit contract, the higher the number of permutations in solutions possible to deliver fairness, and the lower the fragility of fairness to deviations from the original plan.

I like to use game theory for the matrix of choices of projects at work

I haven’t defined what an easy project is or what a difficult project is. For the purposes of my argument, let’s assume that an easy project is one where the company has done multiple times before, where solutions pre-exist, and where most people can cruise through the project without encountering serious difficulty. A difficult project is one where likely no one at the company, can immediately solve the problem without at least a little bit of trial and error, or a bit of extra research.

I am defining projects here at the micro level rather than the macro level. Often, a project given from a client will have a set of different subprojects which vary from effortless to gargantuan.

Taking too many difficult projects to the point of not having a decent work life balance is detrimental but I do encourage taking as many difficult projects as possible that your work life balance allows.

Difficult projects allow you to gain better insight into the different roles of the company. When there is a difficult client or a particular project that appears to be difficult to solve, upper management is often involved. Hence, involvement in these projects allows you to prepare yourself for roles in upper management in the future. In addition, going outside your comfort zone and the possibility of failing boosts creativity and allows you to enhance your mental faculty. Solving a difficult project also makes you a pioneer within the company. Being the subject matter expert of a particular sub-domain no matter how small, will both enhance your reputation as well as encourage you to problem solve and be at the cutting edge side of innovation rather than reliant on pre-existing solutions.

I would also argue that there should be a balance. You should let your co-workers also take on difficult projects so they to have an opportunity to shine. Competing too aggressively for difficult but desirable projects will make you less likable and merely demonstrates poor interpersonal skills. Instead, look at the projects that are neglected, the sweet spot between projects that are undesired and projects that can bring you closer to hero status if you succeed in them.

I conclude that I encourage the pursuit of difficult projects. This is the surest way to advance your career quickly.

How to Stop the Cycle of Oversharing

The 3 reasons why we say too much to strangers.

Photo by Ellisia

Do you welcome conversation with strangers on a plane? Or do you prefer to ignore the person sitting next to you for the entire flight?

I fall somewhere in between. I don’t mind chit chat during take-off. Yet once we are underway I retreat into my zone.

We have all had bad experiences on planes where we get trapped next to someone who talked too much.

One time I sat next to a couple that argued in hushed tones the entire way from Melbourne to Sydney. It was impossible to ignore. Thankfully it was only a one-hour flight.

Personally, I find people talking more annoying than crying babies on flights. I empathize with babies for the discomfort they experience. I am sorry for the parents too.

Complaining about babies is one of my criteria for removing people on social media. I don’t care who you are — if you whine about a baby on a flight, you can expect to wiped by me.

Hasta la vista, baby!

But I digress…

The 3 reasons why we say too much to strangers

According to leading psychologist Ronald E Riggio, there are three reasons why we overshare with strangers.

· False intimacy

· Similarity bias

· Reciprocity norm

Let’s unpack these one by one.

False intimacy

We all have a personal zone into which only trusted people can enter. However the confined space on a airplane often triggers a sense of false intimacy with a relative stranger. The physical closeness leads us to share personal details more easily than we would otherwise.

Case in point: If your hair stylist, manicurist or health provider knows every detail of your life, this is likely due to the false intimacy you have from physical closeness in proximity.

Similarity bias

Superficial similarities such as nationality can lead people to assume that others share a similar outlook to them. Of course it may not always be the case.

Case in point: Recently I attended a concert. Upon arrival I sat next to a chatty Western woman who was visiting Japan where I live. Between sets, I heard about an altercation she had with a bank teller — how she got angry and frustrated due to language difficulties.

The woman made an assumption that I’d expect to be catered to in my native language in a non-English speaking country. She was unaware that I speak Japanese. In reality I emphasized more with the bank teller for having to deal with a difficult customer.

Reciprocity norm

When someone discloses personal information we often feel obligated to share in kind. This turns into a cycle of sharing information and before long you have shared too much.

How to stop the cycle of oversharing?

  • This comes down to a degree of self-awareness and control. When someone discloses personal information, you should simply nod and listen or end the conversation. You are not obligated to respond in kind.
  • Be aware that physical closeness can trigger an unnatural sense of intimacy that may not really exist.
  • Keep in mind that sharing personal information puts a burden and stress on people who are not therapists.

To over-share may feel natural, yet you can wind up feeling embarrassed later on. The trick is to maintain a balance between being authentic while not alienating people around you.

The old adage “think before you speak” is a good approach in most cases.

Thank you for reading!

Joining the New Years Resolution Bandwagon

Most people get really excited about setting new year resolutions and then as February kicks in and the feeling of a brand new year starts fading, the goals start collecting dust too. I have never set myself goals specifically for the New Year but as I approach my 26th next year and getting closer to my 30s than my 20s, there are a few things I want to start taking and doing seriously.

Now some of these things have kept me up at night since I was 18 and have motivated me to keep going when things weren’t all glitter and rainbows. Here are some top level goals of the many others which would take up too much space.

We talk a lot of about specialism and focus, but when it comes to causes, I have tended to be a generalist, dipping my toes in a lot of different buckets. From teaching English, paying for medical surgery, donating books and clothes, raising awareness on political rights, science and role models.

But in 2018 I specifically want to focus on establishing a scholarship for one disadvantaged girl’s education in India to begin with along with empowering girls across developing girls with code education via the Ed Tech startup I work at.

Continue exchanging post cards with refugee kids of Myanmar in Malaysia, what started as a fun way to spend a few hours of the weekend, highlighted a real issue of the lack of education and basic literacy skills they get due to their status and by exchanging post cards with us in London on a regular basis these kids get a chance to smile, be creative, be heard and feel important.

Increase the events I experimented with in 2017 to bring communities together over food tackling social exclusion and focus this on the homeless.

Start creating Art again, my love of writing poems and sketching stopped when the hustle and stress of life increased after moving to a different country, engulfing my time with a lot of administrative task, hopefully creating this art with some refugee kids and start organizing the art exhibitions again that I did in the summer of 2017.

And the musing continues…

MY 2018 GOALS — PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL.

Alps Sunrise — New Beginnings

Habitology — Why forming a habit is hard?

It’s not only your problem. It’s the problem of the majority.

Next to the first blog of this series Habitology: What people must know about habits, today we’ll start to figure out the reasons why it is hard for everyone to form a new habit and make it our life style.

After many surveys and researches to analyze about how people form and live with their habits, I have found some main problems that people have to face with when decide to change or take up a new habit.

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself”— Seth Godin

Everyone can hope, dream and set the goals for themselves. But you can not let it distract you from what you really need to focus on — your habits — what you need to do daily to reach your goal. Have you ever been to one of these situations that depress yourself of achieving goals?

  1. Look at a the hot, thin, body out there and set goal to lose 10 pounds at the end of the month. Lace your shoes up, hit the gym and work out to exhaustion. As a result, you take a week off with the excuse of recovery.
  2. In order to enhance your knowledge you decide to read 5 books this month. But after few days of reading, you feel you can’t absorb this kind of knowledge and quit.
  3. You decide to learn a new language and spend all the time at the weekend with it. The next weekdays come with a lot of work and you never come back to this new language again.

And a lot more problems cropping up to kill your motivation…

Instead of focusing on your goals — the results, you should focus on the progress that leads you to those goals, it is what you repeatedly do, a habit.

Forming a new habit means partly changing your living routine, so taking step by step or you will get shocked, depressed, devastated or other bad conditions that you can’t imagine (sorry if I scare you but this is important)

From small beginnings come great things

Especially when it comes to forming new healthy habits, starting small is the way to go. Instead of doing a complete overhaul of your diet on Monday, just start doing it piece by piece.

The typical reason why diets do not work is that they have you change too many things at once. There are many factors around that make impact on us: jobs to do, family to belong with, darling to love, friends to go out with… Our brain will suffer if we try to accomplish too much at the same time and you will easily lose your motivation.

There’s just one way that you can lose 10 pounds right away, magic! But it is not even real. What about kicking it off by small steps and tiny little habits that you can slowly incorporate into your life and have control over?

Getting back to the 3 examples above, it is good to start with some light workout session instead of pushing yourself to exhaustion. It is smart to choose a good book and start to read it slowly to understand it clearly instead of look through it and understand nothing. Learning a new language is never an easy task. Take some days with simple lessons to get yourself familiar with it.

Take a large vision of your whole life and ask what is missing. What you have to change to make it better.

It doesn’t have to be food, workout or something physical. Maybe it’s a mental issue because you have many negative thoughts or stress that lead you to eat more. One of the suggestion is to take meditation 10 minutes a day.

Pick one thing to start. One step at a time.

One more important thing. Don’t tell everyone you will take up a new habit and change your life and let those words “gone with the wind”.

Take the first action when you are ready and take it serious or you will fail. Prepare every necessary things such as: clothes, glasses, shoes, hat, ipod…, any gadgets that help you and start today!

One day, two days…2 months and this habit will become your life style.

New Year is coming close and I wish you all a year of luck, happiness and success.

Follow Nirow Blog for more interesting topics about Habit and Goals.


If you are seeking for a tool to track your habits and goals, you can consider Nirow, it’s an automatic habit and goals tracker. Nirow can connect with the services you use daily such as Apple Health, Fitbit, RescueTime, Location to track your activities and conditions.

Planning for my Digital Declutter Experiment

Early in December, Cal Newport sent an email asking if anyone wanted to participate in his Digital Declutter Experiment. He is the author of “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” a book that changed my working habits last year. I reference that book every chance I get. I responded to his email within seven minutes of the sent time, which was a clear indication to me that I needed this experiment in 2018.

I consider myself fairly disciplined when it comes to digital media. I gave up my smartphone for 18 months. I refuse to install Facebook on my phone. I use the StayFocusd browser extension when I need to work. I use a regular alarm clock at home instead of my phone. When I’m out to dinner, I try to be present and keep my phone in my purse. I felt more in touch after reading Adam Alter’s book, “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping us Hooked.”

But when I really think about it, digital technology consumes my daily life.

My email is almost always open and ready to distract me. I pride myself on responding to students as soon as I can. I scroll through my Instagram feed when I’m bored. I’ve probably already watched the latest MarieTV episode by noon on Tuesdays, the same morning she posts them. If you text me, I’ll probably see it immediately. My weekly print issues of Time already feel outdated when they arrive because I’ve been following the news too closely. I know too much about Meghan Markle’s life, not to mention the classmates from high school and their children that I’ve never met.

So the Digital Declutter Experiment coinciding with the new year made perfect sense for me. I’m writing this the day before we begin — January 1st. The experiment lasts for a month.

Cal Newport decided to give us vague guidelines on purpose. I threw a mini-tantrum in my head. “What?! No strict rules to follow? Doesn’t he know I’m an upholder?!” And then the social scientist side kicked in, “Wait, experiments have rules! We should be taking a pre-test and a post-test! We need operational definitions!”

Deep breath — I get to make this my own.

So here are my rules (many of these line up with the original guidelines):

  • Only check and respond to email 3 times a day (thanks to Inbox Pause for making this easy to implement).
  • I will not read the news online (this includes removing NPR from my Amazon Echo daily briefings).
  • I will not browse the internet for entertainment.
  • I will not mindlessly search on Facebook (thanks to News Feed Eradicator, this is already a lot easier).
  • I will check Instagram and Twitter only once per day.
  • I will not engage with my smartphone until after my first cup of coffee.

Working on these habits will change my January and workflow. My digital declutter experiment will give me the chance to engage in more deep work, especially writing. I’ll be writing about my progress each week this month.

I hope you’ll join us with your own digital decluttering experiment. What rules would you add or change for yourself?

How I became my most productive self with personal OKRs

The Four Ps: Promotion, Platform, Published, Play

We wanted to have fun while knocking some big items off the bucket list. We laid out our OKRs as the Four Ps: Promotion, Platform, Published, and Play. And because all good things come with a hashtag, we dubbed the year-long plan #Yolo17.

Wrong.

Applying work practices to your personal life is really hard. You don’t have a team to help you execute, nor a boss holding you accountable, or deadlines, or really anyone motivating you other than yourself. And when the work is done, let’s be honest, no one really cares. No one cares if I hit my “Play” OKR. In fact, people are probably just annoyed by seeing it on my Instagram.

If I was going to take this seriously, I had to make the people around me take it seriously. I wrote the entire plan for the year, including key results, tactics, and even some strategy in a Google Doc. And then I shared it with everyone that would be impacted by it. My boss, my friends, my family, all the strangers that follow me on social media, and my dogs.

Even though this sounds ridiculous, it was actually the most crucial part. “I can’t come to your wedding because I’m in Aspen to interview some people for my book…” Is a little easier to swallow with: “Because it’s a personal goal of mine, and you have to make tradeoffs in order to accomplish big goals.”

Here’s a snapshot of my OKRs:

That’s where Trello came in.

I built a Trello board called “The Four Ps.” I used Trello because I wanted to see visual progress I was making towards my goals. I wanted to keep task lists and notes and photos all in one place. It was less about project managing my goals in a kanban board with status columns, and more about seeing progress for big milestones and checking “Done.” If you get a kick out of checking “Done” like I do, this is the perfect way to give yourself a little positive reinforcement along the way. Plus, look how pretty it is!

The OKR board to track big milestones

For the OKR board, I kept it high-level. I added the “Why” to a card at the top of each column, to remind myself of why I was doing this. Then I started listing all the things I thought it would take to feel that each goal was complete.

For the “Play” list: My husband and I sat down for an hour with a calendar and plotted the entire year out, making sure no three-day weekend went unplanned. This of course, took some adjusting because work trips came up along the way. For example, I went to Australia, Hawaii, Portugal and Chile with work. The good news was I could surf at two of the four places. The bad news was it was without my husband.

For the “Promotion” list: We both committed to create space for the other to really focus on their jobs. This was really hard because we did a lot of traveling apart, worked late nights and early mornings, and sometimes felt like ships passing in the night. I was glad this goal was balanced out with our commitment to “Play,” because it was both needed and necessary to keep us motivated and happy. I’m also pleased to report that we both got promotions this year.

The “Published” goal was my stretch goal. Finishing a novel was the thing I wanted to do the most, required the most personal commitment, and was the hardest to achieve. For this, I hired a writing coach. I needed an outside perspective, motivator, and mentor to help me break the work down and steer me in the right direction. I would recommend this to anyone who has a similar stretch goal. Coaches aren’t just for sports.

I also ended up making a separate Trello board to manage this project. My book is nonfiction and required a ton of research, which made it even more challenging. This board was for project management rather than motivation, with To Do, In Progress, and Done columns.

I also kept notes and ideas here. Having a single source of truth for a big hairy project was incredibly helpful.

A project board for the more complicated projects

While I didn’t publish my book this year, I did finish it. The process of tackling a stretch goal like this taught me a ton about time management, prioritization, grit, and how to actually keep personal OKRs. Which brings me to my lessons learned…

Lesson #1: Overcommitting is a rookie mistake.

Lesson #2: Be agile.

Lesson number #3: Share your personal goals with friends, family, and your boss.

Lesson #4: Write it down.

Lesson #5: Saying yes is saying no to something else.

Lesson #6: Think big.

Lesson #7. Find ways to positively incentivize yourself.

You can sign up to get notified when my book’s ready for action:

Blue Flowers – If the present tries to sit in judgement of the past, it will lose its future. …

If the present tries to sit in judgement of the past, it will lose its future. – Winston Churchill

blueflowersthebook.com


Originally published at blog.trello.com.

My Daily Habits: A Day In My Life.

Once I’m in the office, the first thing I do is check my work phone. Notice how I don’t do this earlier? The reason is that I want my journey to work to be a good one.

I don’t want work to distract me when most of the time there’s nothing I can do about it until I get to the office anyway. My trip to work is always combined with a podcast from either Tim Ferriss, Gary Vee or Lewis Howes.

Important to note that this habit doesn’t occur all of the time. Nothing is ever going to be the same every day. What I’m documenting here is how it happens most of the time so you get an idea of how you can shape your own habits for success.

I’ve followed the success habits of people that have done cool stuff. In comparison, my list may seem mediocre and I’m okay with that.

I believe that as long as your passion is prioritized in your day and you’re spending a bit of time with the people that matter to you, you’ll be successful.

The reality is that some of these habit lists you see are just plain crap. They’re not practical and the person writing them is exaggerating what they do. Every day is going to be a bit different and that’s normal. You can’t be a robot trying to follow exactly the same list of tasks every day. We need variety as humans.

Repeat habits that support your goals.
Stay healthy and keep your energy levels up.
Spend time with the people you care about.
Prioritise what is important to you and no one else.

Originally posted on Addicted2Success.com

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How to begin questioning

Truly “getting good” at asking deliberate questions requires much more than just reading a checklist of quick tips. If you care about developing this skill, you’ll have to start studying and practicing as part of your daily habits.

Readers of the DQM blog have already learned What deliberate questions are and Why they matter. If you aren’t familiar with these concepts, either go read the posts that are hyper-linked above, or stop reading now. (Really, this post will be a waste of time if you don’t already understand the DQM framework…and I’m not a fan of wasting time whether it’s mine or yours.)

For those who do understand what DQ’s are and why they matter, you should also ask yourself if you care enough to put forth the required work to develop these skills. It will require effort, patience, and practice. As with any life skill, cultivating this habit will create value which far outweighs the work…but it will still require work.

Consider this article like a roadmap which describes how to get from point A to point B. The actual amount of effort required to make progress down this path will vary for each person. Cultivating such a powerful habit is not an easy job, so be ready to put in real work!

“Knowing and using the appropriate questions, at the appropriate times, asking the appropriate people, and obtaining what you need in addition to communicating what you want is an extremely difficult job.”

-The Art of Asking: Ask Better Questions, Get Better answers
By Terry J Fadem

Remember: by no means do I think this short post can provide enough information and practice to take you from an average person to a power questioner. That is not my purpose here. The purpose of this post is to list out the most important steps and helpful tips that will get you started down the path of using questions more powerfully to your advantage.

Critical Steps for Becoming a Power Questioner:

  1. Start a Question Notebook Whenever you hear a good question by someone else, write it down. Whenever you are headed into an important meeting or phone call, write down a good DQ that you can use. Whenever you learn something new about question thinking, write it down. Learn more about the Question Notebook here.
  2. Practice. Everyone wants a ‘cheat’ or ‘life hack’ to simplify the amount of effort required. Well, this is one case where you have to put in the work to get the results. I have no magic pill that you can take to tap into the power within your brain (if I did, I’m certain I’d be spending my time and money galavanting the world rather than sitting at my computer writing). One of the most difficult parts of developing a new skill is simply remembering/caring to practice regularly. There are many great blogs and books about developing strong habits, a good starter would be The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.While remembering to practice is largely going to be your responsibility, I want to help as much as possible. In essence, I’ll check in along the path rather than just handing you a map and saying good luck! The best way I can do this is by sending regular reminders to you, along with practical suggestions on ways to practice, (here comes the shameless plug) and you will only get those reminders if you
    sign up for the DQM email list.
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

4. Read everything you can about becoming a better questioner. In the future I will share and update some recommended reading lists with notes and comments on what I find valuable in certain books. For today though, you can start by checking out my favorite book on questioning — A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger.Those who see true improvement are those who dedicate themselves to learning all the nuances of asking better questions by reading the theories and lessons learned by other master questioners. I will offer no shortcut here, so pick up a book and start reading.

5. Get Support from others. If you haven’t already, make sure you join the DQM community to get regular reminders and suggestions from others on ways to grow this important new habit.

I have to admit one last thing before closing this article. Earlier I said it’s like a roadmap to get you from point A to point B…however that’s kind of a lie, so I apologize. You see, there is no ‘finish line’ when it comes to cultivating new skills. There is only added improvement over time. I think of it like golfing. I’ll never be ‘done’ practicing. My game will never be perfect. I will certainly have some days that are better than others. I’ll have frustrating moments along the way. I know that if I stop practicing altogether my fine motor skills and finesse will slip away quickly. So I keep practicing and keep trying to learn from others who are better golfers than I. And to me, that is all worth it because the overall experience is valuable and enjoyable along the way. So it is with becoming a better questioner. A challenging and ongoing pursuit that will only improve as you put more effort into it. So think of this article actually as a golf lesson, not a roadmap.

Thanks!