29 - Surf is Up Process Versus Productدوره: Coursera – Learning How to Learn / درس 29
29 - Surf is Up Process Versus Product
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One of the best ways of being effective in
is to use mental tools and tricks to
inspire and motivate yourself.
First, when it comes to learning in
general, you should realize that it’s
perfectly normal to start with a few
negative feelings about beginning a
Even when it’s a subject you ordinary
it’s how you handle those feelings that
Researchers have found that
nonprocrastinators put their
negative thinking aside saying things to
Quit wasting time and just get on with it,
once you get going, you’ll feel better
If you find yourself avoiding certain
tasks because they make you
feel uncomfortable, you should know
another helpful way to re-frame things.
And that’s to learn to focus on process
Process means, the flow of time and the
habits and actions associated with that
flow of time.
As in, I’m going to spend 20 minutes
Product is an outcome, for example, a
homework assignment that you need to
To prevent procrastination you want to
avoid concentrating on product.
Instead, your attention should be on
Processes relate to simple habits, habits
that coincidentally allow you
to do the unpleasant tasks that need to be
For example, lets say you don’t like doing
homework in a particular class.
So you put off working on the homework.
It’s only five questions you think.
How hard could that be?
Deep down, you realize that answering
five questions could be a very lengthy
It’s easier to live in a fantasy world
where the five questions, or
the ten page report or whatever, can be
done at the last minute.
Your challenge is to avoid focusing on
the product, the answers to the questions.
The product is what triggers the pain that
causes you to procrastinate.
Instead, you need to focus on the process
The small chunks of time you need over
even weeks to answer the questions or
prepare for tests.
Who cares whether you finish the homework
grasp the key concepts in any one session.
The whole point instead, is that you
put forth your best effort for a short
Notice how in this picture physicist and
surfer Garret Lacy is focused on the
Not on the accomplishment of having surfed
For you, one of the easiest ways to focus
on process is to focus on doing a
Pomodoro, a 25 minute timed work
session, not on completing a task.
The essential idea here is that the zombie
of your brain likes processes because it
can march mindlessly along.
It’s far easier to enlist the friendly
zombie habit to
help with a process, then to help with a
By focusing on process rather than
product, you allow yourself to
back away from judging yourself, am I
getting closer to finishing?
And instead you allow yourself to relax
into the flow of the work.
The key is when a distraction arises, which
it inevitably will,
you want to train yourself to just let it flow
Of course, setting yourself up so that
are minimal is also a very good idea.
Many students find that either a quiet
space or noise canceling headphones
if, if you can afford them, can be helpful
when they’re really trying to concentrate.
I’m Barbara Oakley.
Thanks for learning about learning.
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