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When you set up a progressive habit, you’re on a path to improvement

When you set up a progressive habit, you’re on a path to improvement

Small, incremental adjustments in difficulty are almost certain to push your level up. The downside with progressive habits is that they are harder to sustain.

@aryaman

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The 2 ways you can approach your habits: Progressive and Consistent
  • Progressive. You start off easy, make it a little bit harder each time, until you eventually do very difficult things, with a lot less effort.
  • Consistent. Do the same thing, with the same expectations, each time. You don’t aim for growth, but maintaining the same, solid baseline.
<b>Progressive habits are&nbsp...
Progressive habits are about managing growth, while consistent habits  are  are about managing decline. Progressive habits are less stable, but offer higher growth. Consistent habits offer lower growth, but are more stable.
Progressive habits vs.Consistent habits
  • Progressive habits can be better if you expect low decline or a continued, long-term focus on growth. If this area of life is going to remain under the spotlight for you in the future, you can probably keep pushing progressive training habits. 
  • Consistent habits are better when the domain of life you’re trying to improve rarely is your biggest priority. 

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RELATED IDEAS

Minimum targeting works well for establishing long-term habits.

A goal of, for instance, doing fifty push-ups every day might not be ideal for fitness, but doing something is better than doing nothing.

Another reason to focus on the minimum is that it assumes the difficulty is in starting. To start a process can often be the hardest. Then you want to set a lower threshold to make starting as easy as possible.

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IDEAS

  • A compelling reason to be productive can increase the intensity. Big ambitions can also inspire greater productivity. It is one reason why we should set big goals.
  • Working harder in bursts. Cycles of productivity are natural. If we recognise the existence of energy cycles, we can use them by relaxing in the slower phases.
  • Working on systems can make effort easier. We can make tasks easier by limiting alternatives. Reading books on your phone is much easier if you don't have Instagram next to it.
Cognitive Reserve

Some people seem to age mostly with minds intact and others notice dramatic slowdowns. The brain appears to have a lot of redundancy built-in - known as cognitive reserve.

Education seems to have a protective effect on aging, possibly because education contributes to cognitive reserve.