How to better manage your time and three hacks to stop procrastinating, by Sofia Contreras

How to better manage your time and three hacks to stop procrastinating, by Sofia Contreras
How to better manage your time and three hacks to stop procrastinating, by Sofia Contreras

“In many cases, your entire life and your entire identity is your work. So, what are you doing at that moment? You are breaking your entire identity. We have only one energy and if we dedicate it to only one thing, for example work or the family, when that disappears many things break”

In dialogue with The Formula Podcast, Sofia Contrerasbusinesswoman, speaker and author, told how make focus Importantly, avoiding unnecessary distractions that come, most of the time, from excessive use of cell phones and other technologies. He pointed out the importance of establishing habits and limiting priorities to focus on each activity.

In addition, he told what the two teachings of his mentor, Charlie Munger, mean: Do not seek to get rich in the short term and use reverse thinking. He called for multitasking to be demystified because our brain can focus on only one highly complex task at a time. You can find the full interview on Spotify and YouTube.

Guest: Sofía Contreras leads the SC group, a consulting, business academy and professional speaker services company. Throughout her career, she has mentored and advised startups, entrepreneurs, and corporations. She also co-founded the NGO Girls in Technology, with impact in 18 countries. She has been recognized for her work in social impact and selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.

What are we talking about: about how to manage time and the “super power” of our time: Focus on what we want and overcome the permanent distractions with which we are surrounded. He was optimistic when he stated that we often “overestimate” difficulties. Understanding and facing our fears can help us move towards our goals.

“You have to focus on one thing at a time,” says Contreras (Gastón Taylor)

—A phrase of yours that resonated a lot with me and I loved it is “the super power of our time is being able to focus”, why do you think that today this is considered a super power and why is it so difficult for us to focus?

—There are different factors for me. Factor number one, taking our time out of focus, in no space that we inhabit throughout our lives does it teach us how time management works, energy management and how to focus or, even one step further back, to understand what each of us are like, because part of all this is self-knowledge, it is knowing what I am like. I, for example, have a tendency to overfocus, I focus too much, so I have to get out of that focus. So if we, on the one hand, could understand what we are like, it is much easier for us to manage it.

On the other hand, they do not teach us how to do it, once we have that information, they do not teach us at school, at the university, in the family, there is no drop in how we go through life, keeping the focus present. And on the other hand, which is what we are all currently experiencing, we have so many applications on our cell phones that are developed so that you can enter and not leave. They are made for that. How many times have you gone to search for something on Instagram and entered and forgotten what you were going to search for? Or did you go to Tik Tok to look for something and forgot what you were going to look for? Because you enter that loop that begins to attract your attention so much that it is compulsive consumption, then you do what is called binge-watching, which is looking at one thing behind the other.

All the applications that we use today have that. Because? Because what companies do is sell your vision, your attention. All of these companies are developed right now by very focused people who hire behavioral scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, so that we can be there, they study human behavior so that we can be there.

With this information, we have to start taking the opposite path, because if we want to start focusing we have to start blocking and configuring the entire environment that surrounds us, because otherwise there is no way we can focus because we are constantly distracted All the time you have colorful mirrors in front of you that catch your attention.

“The effort for anything that seems complex or that we don’t feel like doing has to be put into the first three seconds of the action.” Also, what is the two day rule?

—What is your best “hack” to avoid dispersing energy and attention?

—You have to focus on one thing at a time. We with the team and it is also what people who have done time management at some point in their lives learn, it is to do one task at a time, I start it and finish it. What does it mean that I start it and finish it? When we propose a goal for the day of a task that we have to finish, that task has to be manageable in one sitting of work. Suppose I have to write a book and I wrote the book, that’s huge. Then I can put “write a chapter” and the chapter is big too, perhaps, because maybe I can’t do it in one sitting at work; Well, writing 200 words, which is manageable, in one sitting at work because of the time I have today or because of how I’m structuring my days.

We, the effort for anything that seems complex in our life or that we do not feel like doing, has to be put into the first three seconds of the action, what does that mean? Do you want to go to the gym? Change your clothes, grab your keys and leave your house, on your way to the gym you won’t want to come back. Do you want to sit down to write the pages of the book and feel like you don’t feel like it? Because this happens, it’s normal; Well, I’m going to make the effort to sit in front of the computer and put my hands on the keyboard and write three lines, and then you start to get into a rhythm and lower the barrier of entry to action. Has it been a long time since you’ve gone out on dates with anyone? Well, I’m going to download an application to start talking to someone, it’s going to be the first kick, and so on. The first seconds of the action.

—What can we do when we have already passed the beginning stage, there are still no results and one begins to feel “stuck”?

—There are many things that we can implement along the way so as not to give up. One of the main ones is to focus on the day to day, on today and nothing else. There is a rule that is also a strategy for this to happen and work and you can maintain it, which is the strategy of Jerry Seinfeld, who is a renowned comedian. He once went to a show and a guy grabbed him backstage and asked him, “teacher, how do you manage to be such a good comedian?” I want to be like you, tell me what the secret is.” And he tells him: “Look, the secret to telling very good jokes is to write very good jokes, and to write very good jokes you have to follow the two-day rule, that is, what does it mean? That no more than two days can go by without you writing a joke, whether it’s good, whether it’s bad, whether you don’t like it, because you have to generate that gymnastics of continuing to do it.” Why two days? Because if more than two days go by that you don’t do something that is important to you, it is much more difficult to get back into the habit.

What helps us too? Let it be a small bunch of things that are important to us, because if we have big projects or big priorities they are not priorities, which is what was happening to me this time, I was dealing with six important things at the same time and they were too many and not enough. There is a way to put the focus that each of them needs, so you have to narrow it down.

“Our mind does not support multitasking. Our brain can focus on a highly complex task at the same time. So, we have to focus on one thing at a time and with the premise ‘I start it and I finish it’, because we have a very linear expectation about how things happen.”

— I would like you to tell me two lessons that your mentor, Charlie Munger, left you. One, do not seek to get rich in the short term and two, use reverse thinking.

— This concept applies to everything, what Charlie, Warren Buffet’s partner, says. They became millionaires after age 60 because they started investing in their teens, like 20, because of the compound interest on everything. On the one hand, the key to getting rich and for anything is to think in the long term, you become rich in the long term, you achieve the health you want in the long term, you achieve the body you want in the long term. . Why in the long term? Because everything in life works with compound interest of things. In learning, for example, if I start playing the piano today, I’m going to do very poorly, today I’m not going to know how to play a single key, but tomorrow I’m going to have learned something else and the day after that I’m going to have learned something else and within a while month another, then I am going to compound my learning because one thing is going to be added to the other and that is going to help me to later have my exponential curve of knowledge. There is going to be a moment when everything I know means that I can be playing the piano without realizing it, which is how the whole habit of things and knowledge is created. That is, how you put information in your mind so that you can extract it quickly. That is what we are doing when we create habits, it is like driving, once you have learned to drive you are not thinking about “I have to put it in first gear to do this”, everything comes automatically.

And on the other hand, “reverse thinking” is that it is much simpler for our mind to think about the negatives. If I say “I want to be a healthy person, how can I be the unhealthiest person in the world so that my health is in the basement?” What do we do? You eat poorly, you don’t move, you drink alcohol during the week, you smoke, a lot of stress, a lot of work, it’s a gigantic list, so what we do with that is turn it around and say: “smoking, I quit smoking; sedentary lifestyle, start being more active.” This way, you can transform it into things that you can handle in your daily life and it applies to everything. The example that Charlie always gives is: “If I wanted the Indian economy to be destroyed, what do I have to do? I have to handle taxes like this, I don’t have to give this to the people”, so there you turn it around, you do the opposite.

When we propose an objective for the day of a task that we have to finish, that task has to be manageable in one sitting of work (Illustrative Image Infobae)

— And the last question I ask all the guests who come to this podcast is, if you had to tell me just one thing that you learned about human beings, something that makes you think “about all these people I coach, about all these people with whom I speak every day, there is something that is repeated, a common denominator…”

– Yes, I have one. We think things are more difficult than they generally are. First, we are very afraid, all human beings are very afraid, exposing ourselves to speak, to do something, to how we are going to look. We believe that doing so will also be much more difficult, our mind generates more terrible scenarios. There is also a phrase that says: “we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” We all suffer more in our minds than in reality, then things are not as terrible as we think. So a great exercise to do is to transform our fears into why am I afraid of this? what am I feeling? And if this situation happens, how could I turn it back? Because if we start to see that we will also be able to move towards the things that are important to us, because this happens to all of us. We all think that everything is going to be more terrible than it is and it is painful to see how many people stay in that loop for years.

The Sofi Contreras Formula: “Apply these 2 rules and don’t procrastinate anymore”

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