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The key to productivity is distinguishing 'habits' from 'routine'

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.

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The key to productivity is distinguishing 'habits' from 'routine'

The key to productivity is distinguishing 'habits' from 'routine'

https://thenextweb.com/growth-quarters/2020/04/10/the-key-to-productivity-is-distinguishing-habits-from-routine/

thenextweb.com

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Key Ideas

The Confusion Of Habit and Routine

Habits are programmed human behaviors with little or zero conscious thought. Habits free our minds to other things, but our behavior isn’t always on autopilot. There are many tasks that require concentration, deliberation, and effort, and cannot be simply fed in the brain as an automatic habit.

Behavior that requires conscious thought (like writing a journal every morning) is a routine, not a habit.

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.

The Process Of Forming A Habit

  • Start the right behavior: Be clear that certain behaviors can be routines (requiring a deliberate effort) but can never become habits.
  • Allocate time: Set up an implementation intention to plan to do something, setting aside a specific time for the activity.
  • Embrace discomfort: Repeatedly doing new behaviors requires effort and perseverance. Reimagine your discomfort as a motivating factor, telling your mind that it is a necessary rite of passage.

Maintaining Momentum

  • Keep It Up: The behaviour has to be solidified as a habit and for that, you need to ensure that it is a regularly performed routine. Get the help of friends or peer groups to keep yourself committed and prevent skip days.
  • Do It Right: A routine can become a habit if it is meant to. Instead of frustration and failure, find acceptance that some routines require constant effort and are hard to turn into magical habits.

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By forming a habit, the brain frees the mind to do other things without deliberation. So behaviors that require concentration, deliberation, or extended effort, are not habits.

What drives motivation

Motivation is not driven by pleasure and pain, but rather by the desire to escape discomfort.

Our brains get our bodies to do what they want through discomfort. And the same rule applies to psychological discomfort. 

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Not all behaviors can be easily automated

Many habits are simply routines, but not all of them. _For example, there isn't a habit for a hard workout at the gym - you won't become absent-minded midway through a benchpress.

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