English Speaking club Meeting7

Speaking club. Meeting #7 summary: How to get things done

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Yesterday we had a meeting about How to get things done. The topic really stroke a chord among many of About English readers.

No wonder. Nowadays we often feel a little bit overwhelmed: so many things to do and no time for all of them.

During the meeting, we talked about our plans and things we want to do, shared our experiences and useful techniques.

I won’t lie if I tell that most of the participants, including myself, were inspired by our interaction. The meeting helped us to clarify some things and understand where to start from.

Here’re some of the comments:
Speaking club. Meeting #7 summary: How to get things done

After the meeting, I thought of creating a Facebook group for us to share our wins and obstacles, support, encourage, inspire and help each other in our journey. And it’s not only in English learning but in other spheres of our life: health, self-development, career, relationships etc.

It will be our accountability group, so we’re more likely to do and act rather than just passively consume.

I see some of you guys liked the idea. So, I think we should start it anyway. You know, start from small steps and then just keep going.

I’ll take some time to think of frames and activities of this new group and will invite you to join once I create it. Can’t wait to see you all there! Together we’ll move mountains!

Speaking club. Meeting #7 summary: How to get things done

Implementation intentions and Coping plans

Here’re the summary of two helpful techniques with examples that we learnt during the meeting. It could be useful for those who joined and who missed the meeting. I really hope this will help you to get things done).

Implementation intentions is a strategy in the form of an “if-then plan” that can lead to better goal achievement.

There’re two formulas you can use to implement this technique:

If I want to achieve X I will do Z
If Y happens then I’ll do X

You can follow this 3-step process to implement this technique for your goals.

1. Choose a goal that you would like to accomplish (remember, the stronger your intention, the better).

2. Think about possible ways to achieve your goal and possible obstacles that could stop you.

3. Put your ideas and obstacles into “if-then plans”.

For example:
1. Create a goal I want to exercise to be more healthy.
2. Specify itI plan to exercise 3 times a week.
3. Create a formula to follow If it’s Friday 5 PM then I’ll exercise.

Coping plans is a strategy to follow whenever you encounter an obstacle. In other words, it’s your Plan B to overcome obstacles.

The formula looks like that:
If Obstacle Y occurs then I’ll do X to overcome it.

It’s Friday 5 PM and I plan to go the gym.
If my boss asks me to overwork till 6 PM then I will go to the gym at 6.30 PM.
If I have to work past 6:30 PM then I will go to the gym the next day.

More detailed explanation in this video:

How to use Implementation intentions and Coping plans to get your things done:
  1. Think of the things you want to do and write them down
  2. Think of actions you need to take to get these things done? Write them down
  3. Create “if-then plan” (The formula is: If it’s Friday 5 PM then I’ll exercise)
  4. Think of the obstacles that could prevent you from taking actions (work, lack of time, laziness, bad weather, friends, family issues, Facebook, procrastination etc).
  5. Think of a Coping plan (plan-B) to overcome the obstacle (The formula is: If my boss asks me to overwork till 6 PM then I will go to the gym at 6.30 PM).

During the meeting most of the participants shared they goals or things they wanted to do.
Here’s one of these goals broken down on small doable steps.

Speaking club. Meeting #7 summary: How to get things done

1. What do you want to accomplish? – I want to learn 5 new English words.
In what period of time do you want to learn these words? – I want to learn 5 new English words in a week (I would also specify it even more: What kind of words you want to learn?)

2. What do you need to do to achieve this goal?

  • I need to learn a word a day.
  • I need to identify new English 5 words that I need to learn and write them down. (For instance, 5 words from my passive vocabulary or 5 words that I need for my work).
  • Then each day I would learn all about one word. One word a day.
  • I would go to a dictionary to see the meaning and spelling.
  • I would practice how to pronounce it separately and in the sentences from the dictionary or Youglish.
  • I would create my own sentence and use the new word during the day as much as I can.
  • I need to spend 30-60 minutes a day for this process. So I’ll schedule it on my calendar.

3. Create a “if-then plan” – When it’s Monday-Friday 8 AM I’ll learn a new word till 9:00 AM.
4. Create plan B to eliminate possible obstacles: If I overslept I will learn a new word in the evening at 6 PM.
If my mom asks to clean my room I’ll learn a word an hour later.

And you can break down any goal, dream, plan you have.


Here’re some useful links for you to dive deep in this process and finally get things done!

A cool tool to track your time toggl.com

If you want to join our Speaking Club here’s the link

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