I have always wondered what happens to our brain while we sleep and is it at all required for us to have a specified amount of time to sleep/day. Turns out sleep is related to making better decisions and also helps us to figure out solutions to challenges that we haven’t figured out during the day.
When I gave it a thought over a night’s sleep often, I too realized while learning about a major skill over a period of time. I have had the habit of breaking it up into micro steps and usually spreading it out into a 1 month routine. At the end of the each week, I’d compare my progress with the takeaway’s I had decided upon at the start of the week for that skill.
Plus I’d follow Jerry “Don’t Break The Chain” system for anything that I’m learning.
This is based upon a motivation technique used by Jerry Seinfeld.
The Short Version:
- Pick a goal.
- Mark off the days (preferably with a red “X”) on which you work toward that goal.
- Use your chain of marked off days as a motivator
The whole idea for me is to continue this chain till I reached every week’s takeaway. Any skill that I want to learn rapidly. I usually list out a 30 day routine with specific micro steps and weekly revisions.
To pump it up a notch also place a practice called “Little Bets”. I usually pick a friend of mine to hold myself accountable every-week and Sunday’s also happen to be those days I treat myself to a drink or a full blown ravishing meal and I leave the cash for it with my friend. Unless, I hit my weekly takeaways for the skill. I don’t get the big win at the end of the week. If I don’t make it, my friend gets to take that Little Bet as his own.
This way I try to find a balance to have a good mix of extrinsic & intrinsic motivation by having weekly Little Bets.
Now since I have laid down the Behavior Design hack of rapid-skill learning. (Note:– This can be applied to any task that you pick) – I guess you could term it as a productivity hack as well. I usually stick to 5-6 hours of sleep everyday.
Not convinced? May be it’s a good idea for you to sleep over it.