Habits, routines and effort - Deepstash

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Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know

Habits, routines and effort

  • A habit is an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. Not doing a habit feels uncomfortable, like not washing your hands after using the toilet or not flossing your teeth before bed.
  • A routine is a behavior frequently repeated. Unlike a habit, skipping a routine doesn’t feel bad and without proper forethought, can be easily skipped or forgotten.

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Understanding Motivation

Neurologically speaking, motivation is the desire to escape psychological discomfort or a life situation that is not giving us any kind of ‘pleasure’.

Most behaviors are prompted by discomfort. If we are hungry, we eat. If we are lonely, we call up a friend. If we are bored, we turn on the TV.

The Test

If we are procrastinating instead of doing a certain task, telling ourselves that we would it later, it is a sure sign that the task isn’t a habit which can be done on autopilot but is, in fact, a routine.

Anything that requires effort is easy to forget or postpone.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

“Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough en..."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Intense focus

It happens only when:

  • You define your goals clearly 
  • You have the capacity to complete the tasks necessary to achieve them.
You can't blame technology

While endless scrolling on your phone is a symptom of the problem, it is not the root cause of why you find it hard to focus.

To learn how to focus, you must adopt new skills as well as understand the most common causes of distraction.