We all have been there, scrolling through social media feeds two days before the deadline, and the worst part is we don’t even know where to start?
We, as a generation, now are highly addicted to these so-called social media platforms, but why wouldn’t we?
There are thousands of Psychological Engineers working behind, designing their applications to make them addictive, from the colour theme to fonts, to the algorithm and everything inside the app.
Even though I am not a Psychological expert, I understand one of these prominent tech companies’ techniques, PICNUF.
PIC stands for Positive, Instant, Certain, and NUF stands for Negative, Uncertain, Failure.
Let’s understand how you can use this technique to stick yourself to a productive and fulfilling lifestyle and to avoid what you consider distractions from your very own lives.
The PIC Strategy
Positive, Instant, Certain
Have you ever noticed one typical pattern when you scroll through your social media feeds? You always have a positive attitude, even before logging into your account. The sense of excitement and happiness you feel is unique because of your past experiences with the website or platform you are using, and it’s a significant step to make someone hook on to something.
Next, the dopamine kicks when you read an amusing meme, along with the fact that it’s instant, exponentially increases your in-app experience.
In the upcoming time, whenever you visit the platform, you will be sure that gratification is just a click away.
That’s the point; every social media platform has it, always giving instant, positive feedback,guaranteeing that you will experience the same next time you visit the platform.
They are trapping you in a loop for maximum interaction with their platform.
Let’s understand the second aspect of the PICNUF.
The NUF Strategy
Negative, Uncertain, Failure
Consider this: you got an exam this week and started preparing one week early; what emotions do you encounter?
The moment you cannot understand a small concept, the current concept or topic feels a little complicated. Consequently, making you feel negative about yourself and the subject you are studying, which in turn makes passing the exam with good grades more unpredictable and uncertain. Ultimately leading you to believe in the fact of failure even before giving the examination.
Thus, it makes it hard for you to focus properly on the current assignment and open your mind to distractions.
Let’s be true to ourselves who want to be in such a situation, having negative feelings for the task we are into and at the same time being uncertain about the results of the efforts joined with the fear of failure.
It’s a loop that, in the end, makes you a less productive student and resists you from acing your exams.
Well, now that we recognize the nitty-gritty about the PICNUF strategy, let’s apply it to our own lives in a more practical sense.
Consider the same exam scenario; you are on your desk for the next test. Now, let’s use the PIC technique instead of letting the NUF take over and make your sessions more productive and efficient.
Instead of studying just for the exam, realize how important it is to properly grasp the topics you are working on currently in the large scheme of your career, and indeed, you will find out its importance.
Remember, it’s you who have to force yourself into thinking positively while starting your work. It won’t happen overnight, but with consistent efforts, you will get there quickly, when sitting for studies won’t make you feel the most exhausting task in the world.
After starting with a positive mindset, use the Pomodoro technique (which briefly states to work in a 25 or 50 minutes block). And after every Pomodoro session, reward yourself with some treats, a slice of Pizza, or even having a good conversation with your friends and family for 5-10 minutes. This way you are swapping the “uncertainty of fun” factor to a certain one from your study sessions.
Gradually this process will make you believe that being productive for a study session will undoubtedly bring you a dopamine kick. It will make the studying and learning process more fun and enjoyable.
Secondly, the moment you have entirely comprehended all the points and workings of a concept, take a test, and you know it, you are going to ace it. Again, this will solidify in your brain that your work is effective and is not going waste, thus removing the “failure feeling” part of the process.
These essential steps will help you stick to your goals in the long term and make you closer to achieving your destination.
Again, I would emphasize, these are some mere written steps; by reading it, you probably won’t improve your scores and your life in general until and unless you follow it regularly.