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To change your life, start by resetting your default behaviors - RescueTime

https://blog.rescuetime.com/change-your-life-default-behaviors/

blog.rescuetime.com

To change your life, start by resetting your default behaviors - RescueTime
One of the most common pieces of advice on how to change your life, build better habits, and be more productive is to simply block anything you don't want to do. Social media, chat, email-block 'em all. However, blocking isn't a fool-proof plan.

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Default behaviors

They are actions we make without thinking (habits, routines, compulsions). They control more than 40% of our daily actions.

So if we want to change our lives and be more productive, we need to first change our default behaviors.

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Inbox always open

Inbox always open

This behavior keeps you from dedicating your time to meaningful work. Replying to email may feel productive, but the truth is emails are rarely the most important thing on your to-do list.

So instead of keeping your inbox open all day, change your default behavior to working on emails in batches.

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Immediately responding to messages

Real-time communication sets the expectation that you’re always available. And for many of us, our default behaviors support just that.

In order to change this behavior, you need to set expectations on response time. Mute specific channels, get rid of pop-ups, turn off mobile notifications, etc.

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Constantly checking social media

Constantly checking social media

This behavior is harmful mostly because switching context kills your productivity, so even a simple social media check while working on a task can eat up 20–80% of your productive time.

To change this, consider how keeping up with social media fits into your larger values and use the necessary tools to support your new behavior.

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Leaving endless tabs open

How this behavior harms your productivity: not only do you have to constantly hunt for the tab you need to use, but you’re unnecessarily opening yourself up to distraction.

To change that, reset your default behavior by constantly clearing your workspace to neutral: open it, read it, then close it.

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Multitasking

Multitasking

When you multitask, you train your mind to be distracted. You also end up taking longer, doing poor work, and being less creative

So give your work the respect it deserves and focus on single-tasking.

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Too many productivity apps

The default behavior of thinking you need every app out there to be productive is false.

So choose the right tools for your task flow and stick to them. Remember that productivity is not primarily tied to tools, it’s tied to your behavior.

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Constantly being available

Constantly being available

This makes it very difficult to unwind, disconnect, and “turn off.” It also makes it challenging to be fully present when with family and friends.

To change this behavior, change the way you think about work and understand that being always online it's not healthy.

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Multitasking

Those that do multitask the most are the worst at it.

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Not Getting Enough Rest

  • When we get tired, we make mistakes, which means more time and money must be put into correcting those mistakes. 
  • When we get tired, it takes us longer to do things, costing more time and money to do something that could get done in less time if we were fully awake. 

Doing Everything Yourself

Either one of two problems: you don’t like delegating tasks, or you’re having trouble prioritizing which tasks deserve your time. 

Figure out which tasks deserve your time the most (or those tasks that you do best), and outsource something that’s of low priority. 

one more idea

The Dynamics of a Resolution

We all have goals to achieve and behavioral changes we want to implement. Making the resolution is the easy part. The implementation and the work that is to be put in daily is the real challenge.

Why Resolutions Fail

  • Getting motivated by negative emotions like fear or regret.
  • A sudden influx of motivation followed by giving up in the first instance of a setback ("All or Nothing" approach).
  • Having a big and unattainable resolution.
  • Not being in terms with the concept of failure.
  • Not committing fully to the process.

Social Pressure

New research suggests we are less prone to keep working on our goals after we publicize them. This is because we may end up talking about our goals and celebrating our success prematurely rather than implementing them.

Social Pressure makes us fearful, as we can feel afraid of appearing inept. This negative mindset does not work well where we need daily work.

Default choices

Default choices

90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.

To make smarter choices, design smarter...

Designing your life

Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
  • Add friction to habits you want to quit, making them less accessible, or remove the option to perform them completely.

Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler

“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.”