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How to Automate a Habit and Never Think About It Again

https://jamesclear.com/how-to-automate-a-habit

jamesclear.com

How to Automate a Habit and Never Think About It Again
John Henry Patterson was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1844. He spent his childhood doing chores on the family farm and working shifts at his father's sawmill. After attending college at Dartmouth, Patterson returned to Ohio and opened a small supply store for coal miners. It seemed like a good opportunity.

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Changing and creating habits

Changing and creating habits

The best way to break a bad habit is to make it hard, even impossible to do. And the best way to create a good habit is to automate it so you never have to think about it again. 

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Locking in good habits

Locking in good habits
  • Nutrition: Use smaller plates to reduce caloric intake.
  • Sleep: Remove your television from the bedroom.
  • Productivity: Delete games and social media apps from the phone.
  • Happiness: Get a dog.
  • Finance: Call your service providers (cable, electric, etc.) and ask for a lower rate.

These one-time actions only require effort once.

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Habits that benefit from automation

Habits that benefit from automation

Automation is useful for behaviors that happen too infrequently to become habitual: Things you have to do monthly or yearly (rebalancing your investment portfolio or e.g.) are never repeated frequently enough to become a habit, so they benefit in particular from technology “remembering” to do them for you.

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The Downside of Automation

The Downside of Automation

Technology creates a level of convenience that can work against us: Binge watching becomes a habit because it takes more effort to stop looking at the screen than to continue doing so. Instead of pressing a button to advance to the next episode, Netflix or YouTube will autoplay it for you. 

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Reduce impulse buying

Before purchasing non-essential items ask yourself:
  • Can I live without this item?
  • Based on my financial situation, can I afford it?
  • Will I actually use it? Do I have space for it?
  • How did I come across it in the first place? (Did I come across it after wandering into a gift shop out of boredom?)
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  • How do I feel about buying it? (Happy? Excited? Indifferent?)
  • How long will this feeling last?

Working From Home

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Start Early and Mimic Office Time

The schedule that makes you start early, and mimic the office hours works best, as you end up being free earlier too. However, night owls may find working at night to be more productive or comfortable for them.

Maintaining a schedule in a routine, while incorporating regular exercise with it, works best.