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Trigger Your Way to What You Want

This great article from Liz — one of Ramit Sethi’s students —is about how to make more money in less time and has some terrific tricks to share about triggers.

Did you know that you can Trigger (also the name of Roy Rogers’ trick horse pictured above) your way to what you want? Just establish a trigger to remind yourself of a commitment you’ve made. Liz uses the example of creating a To Do list the night before to trigger her focus first thing the next morning. I schedule appointments with myself to trigger all sorts of things: Tuesday morning sales calls, twice weekly dance class, and weekend rides with my horse.  All of these would easily be overridden (all horse puns intended) by work otherwise.

Triggers can also entice you unproductively.  For example, mornings are my personal best time for focused work, but the stack of yesterday’s mail can trigger me into 30 minutes of browsing catalogs for things I don’t need, want, nor will every buy. Liz suggests eliminating bad triggers, so I recycle mail immediately away from my desk, where I won’t be seduced from higher priorities.
Homework: Think of a behavior you want to change, or a new commitment you want to keep, and establish a trigger. Tell us about it here, and then follow up to let us know how it’s working for you!

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2 Responses to Trigger Your Way to What You Want

  1. Kathy February 3, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    This is so simple, but I struggle with it. I tend to clean up my desk before I leave for the day, but I don’t start that process until 5:30. Which makes me later getting home than I want pretty much every day. My trigger — Outlook meeting to “clean up desk” at 4:30 each day.

    • Dodie Jacobi February 8, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      I like your idea of scheduling time with yourself, so an alarm is your literal trigger to stop, and wind down for the day! This also has helped me with between meeting transitions. My client meetings are very engaging, and it’s easy to lose track of time. So I set a chime for a fifteen minute warning, giving us all a chance for a graceful conclusion and transition to timely arrival at the next task. Arriving HOME on time is especially rewarding. So if you find yourself ignoring the alert, add the reward to the alert message: Stop now, and you will be home in time for Happy Hour (with whatever makes you happy in hand!)

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