How important is visualisation in getting what you want?
Mentally rehearsing or visualising tasks is more important than physically practising them. This isn't just my point of view, it's a scientific fact — as you'll see.
In other posts, I've talked about the power of visualising the end result of your goal, and then taking inspired action to achieve it. Here's another way of using visualisation — in combination with a second technique — to help you crush your tasks or smash through your To-do list each day.
1. Visualise the task
This visualisation is slightly different to what I've described in other articles. To be more productive, it's useful to visualise actually doing the job — as well as the end result — before you start.
Be sensible, though! After all, if the task would only take 3 minutes, it's pointless spending 2 minutes visualising it. Just do it! But if you've got a task that is going to take some time, it's worthwhile visualising or mentally rehearsing doing it — as well as the end result you desire.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Numerous studies show that visualising or mentally rehearsing tasks is more important than physically practising them.
- You'll feel motivated to persevere with the task until it's completed.
- It will highlight any possible blocks. For example, as you visualise the process of doing something, you might realise you need information from a colleague to complete your task. This allows you to communicate what you need from your colleague before you begin, avoiding frustration later.
- It will help you with sequencing your day. (For example, this morning I was visualising a task I wanted to complete. I realised I wouldn't be able to complete it until I'd reviewed a piece of writing I'd drafted last week.)
- It's a form of mental rehearsal, letting your brain know what you want to achieve. As such, you prepare your body to accomplish what you've visualised. This makes the whole process of task achievement more fluid and enjoyable.
- It will help you focus — it's fun to imagine yourself performing at your best.
- It works — You've probably seen athletes mentally visualise a successful high jump, a penalty shot or a golf shot etc. If it works for professional and Olympic athletes, it will work for you as well.
2. Tell yourself it's done!
Once you've completed your task, you'll have the pleasure of crossing it off your list and declaring it, 'Done'. Stating something as 'done' creates a positive emotional and physical response.
"Serotonin — known as the body's 'feel-good chemical' — is released, creating a sense of calmness and satisfaction."
Saying 'Done' makes us relax and feel more confident
Not only do we enjoy a moment of brain relaxation (similar to that experienced during meditation) but, apparently, according to Leslie Sherlin, a psychologist and neuro performance specialist, 'A neurochemical shift in the brain occurs simultaneously.
Serotonin — known as the body's 'feel-good chemical' — is released, creating a sense of calmness and satisfaction. This new relaxed state then allows us to take on the next task and builds our confidence.'
Read the whole article which tells you more about why saying, 'Done' is so essential to achieving the productivity you'd like to have.
Oh — and it includes visualising!
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