We’ve all been in situations where we have a lot of work, a tough project, or a difficult problem to deal with, and it can feel overwhelming, like a small mouse facing a big cat.
In these moments, we might feel stuck, unable to decide what to do. The idea of going back to our comfort zone is very tempting.
But what if I told you that you could use your brain, your most powerful tool, to tackle these challenges more effectively, even if it sounds a bit unbelievable? Let me explain.
The human brain is an amazing and complex organ. It’s like the director of the play that is your life, always working behind the scenes, making plans, and finding solutions. It’s incredibly important, but sometimes it can also be a source of obstacles. However, the key is to realise that you can train, improve, and even trick your brain into handling tasks that may seem too difficult or uncomfortable.
5 Techniques to Trick Yourself into Doing Duanting Tasks
The ‘Salami Slice’ Method
Let me share with you a technique that can help you overcome daunting tasks – the “Salami Slice” method. When you’re faced with a huge task, your brain might freeze because it feels overwhelmed by the size of the challenge.
But you can calm this instinct by breaking the task into smaller, more manageable parts, like slicing a salami. Each small part doesn’t seem as scary as the whole task, which encourages your brain to tackle one piece at a time. It’s similar to eating a pizza – taking one slice at a time makes it manageable and even enjoyable.
As you complete each of these smaller parts, you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment, which tricks your brain into wanting more of these “victories.”
The ‘2-Minute’ Rule
Here’s a clever trick for your brain called the “2-minute rule.” If a task takes two minutes or less to complete, do it right away. But here’s the twist: you can also use this rule to trick your brain into starting bigger tasks. Just tell your brain you’ll work on it for only “2 minutes.” Once you begin, the initial hurdle is overcome, and often you’ll end up working longer than you expected. Starting is usually the toughest part.
Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, created and developed by Francesco Cirillo. This technique encourages you to work on a task for 25 minutes, which is called one “Pomodoro,” followed by a five-minute break. After completing four Pomodoros, take a longer 15-minute break. This approach reinforces the idea that focus comes and goes in cycles, and rest is essential for productivity. It also tricks your brain into getting started by setting a manageable time limit, reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Creating a ‘Reward System’
Our brains love rewards, especially dopamine, often called the “reward neurotransmitter.” It plays a big role in motivation and seeking pleasure. You can make use of this by setting up a reward system. After completing challenging tasks, treat your brain to something nice, like a five-minute break, a quick stretch, or a favourite snack. This technique turns your work into a bit of a game, where your brain looks forward to the reward and becomes motivated to finish the task.
Boosting Your Confidence
Let’s be honest; everyone appreciates compliments and praise, even your own brain.
Positive affirmations are statements that can help you confront and conquer self-destructive thoughts. When you repeat them regularly and truly believe in them, they can lead to positive changes in your life and your way of thinking.
Whenever you’re confronted with a challenging task, remind yourself of your strengths. Phrases like “I can handle this,” “I am productive,” or “I am capable” serve as a mental pep talk, strengthening your self-confidence and determination.
This kind of positive reinforcement tricks your brain into having faith in its ability to tackle difficult tasks, which can help you overcome procrastination and self-doubt.
Now, some might argue that “tricking” your brain sounds a bit deceptive. However, think of it as outsmarting a friendly opponent in a game where both sides benefit from the challenge.
Mastering your own brain isn’t always easy. It takes patience, persistence, and a bit of cleverness.
Becoming more productive and handling tough tasks isn’t solely about using sheer willpower. Sometimes, it involves some cunning and the skilful practice of influencing your own brain.
After all, who said that the journey to success can’t involve a bit of clever brain-hacking?
So, the next time you face a formidable challenge, remember this: you have the tools, you know the tricks, and most importantly, you have the brainpower to conquer it all.
It’s time to start playing mind games—with yourself.