Peter Gollwitzer, a New York University psychology professor, conducted studies in the 1990’s to test implementation intentions.
In one study he asked his university students to write a report on how they had spent Christmas Eve no later than 48 hours after that day.
But he asked only half the students to write down just when and where they planned to work on the essay.
When he finished his study he found that of the students who didn’t write down when and where only 32% successfully delivered their essay.
The success rate of students who wrote it down? 75%. More than twice the other group!
Answering just two simple questions more than doubled the chances of achieving a goal.
This is because it taps into the power of the unconscious.
Deciding when and where we’ll complete a task is an implementation intention, a mental programming whereby our brain links up a situational cue — in this case a particular time and location — with the behaviour we wish to perform. The behaviour is then automatically triggered when the time comes.
Implementation intentions provide no guarantee that our goals will be achieved— but many similar studies show it dramatically improves our chances of succeeding.
And all it takes is a few minutes to think about our implementation goals and record them in writing.
And you will increase your productivity dramatically.
Try it now.