Leave the phone behind

I have a simple rule: every time I take the dog outside for a walk I leave my phone behind.  I used to take the phone with me wherever I went — even the bathroom. Now when I abandon it, I can literary feel my mind rebuilding itself. I have a similar approach for my […]

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Triggering and cementing habits

The weakness of will drives our worst habits. Remove the cookies, and we’re less likely to snack on them. Refuse the cafe down the street and drink the Starbucks office Keurig pods instead. That’s $3 saved! Surroundings dictate our behavior. They are unconscious triggers for experiences. So the reverse is also true. Pack your gym […]

Trust the routine

The writer, blogger, or boxer must always keep in training. The artist or athlete can’t wait for the muse to inject them with productivity serum. Routine is much more compelling than inspiration, which is fickle, comes in flashes, and rarely sticks. On the flipside of consistency, is also imperfection. The practician not only faces the […]

Why sitting is bad for you, animated

Sitting is the new smoking. While that claim may be a bit exaggerated, it is an effective reminder to remind ourselves to take our body for a walk. The more than 360 joints inside our bodies are also ample evidence that we are built to stand up and move. And while more offices are including […]

There is a time for everything

The time you spend away from your task still qualifies as work. That includes doing the dishes, running errands, and taking care of the kids—whatever responsibilities you think to impede your central occupation contribute to its success. British novelist Jon McGregor gives a good example of how he manages his writing despite making time for […]

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2018 is almost here. If you’re like most people, you’re looking to start fresh in the new year. Start small When it comes to starting new habits, people aim too high. The trick is lowering the barrier to success to make it feel like you’re winning. That could mean one push-up or walking at least […]

Thinking less to do more

Rhythm builds thoughtlessness. The work becomes more natural out of mechanical motion, doing without thinking. Employees can’t make one hundred sandwiches in a couple hours without silencing the monkey mind. The process of unthinking begets a chorus of action. Similarly, we can’t dribble a basketball nor soccer ball effectively while focusing on the mechanics of […]

Habit fields: Where we work impacts how we work

Where we work impacts how we work, or play. As creatures of habit, we can let certain zones remind us what to do. Writer Jack Cheng uses a ‘distraction chair‘ at home to social network and check email while he saves focused work for the desk. Author Austin Kleon separates his desk between digital and […]

How to practice effectively

Everything is practice. Practice is everything. “Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement.” Biologically speaking, practice strengthens the neural tissue, specifically the fatty substance myelin which enhances the runway for brains to communicate effectively with the muscles. The 10,000-hour rule of deliberate practice doesn’t necessarily guarantee improvement. The training needs […]

You can’t schedule joy

“We make lists because we don’t want to die,” said Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco. The problem with lists though is that we tend to include things we enjoy doing like writing, reading, meditating, along with other habits we should do, like exercise or our grocery shopping. When we fail to cross an item […]

How to use ‘temptation building’ to get things done 

How do you make a strenuous activity more enjoyable? According to Wharton School assistant professor and behavioral economist Katherine Milkman, you bundle it with something that’s rewarding in what she calls “temptation building.“ It goes something like this: “This means you would restrict your Netflix time to the same time you spend working out – […]

Crime and ‘Punishment’

When most people think of punishment, they think of negative consequences — jail for committing a crime or a lawsuit for tax evasion. However, voluntary punishment, like stress, can also have benefits. The US Marines have a saying: “Pain is weakness is leaving the body.” Sometimes you have to punish yourself to get better. You […]

The 3 types of habits

Habits come in all shapes and sizes but some habits are more impactful than others. Listed below are habits ranked from easiest to hardest. Easy Habit: Making the bed is a good habit. It’s the first accomplishment of the day and can be just enough to get you to take other positive actions like cleaning […]

A Breath of Fresh Air

Take the same path to the office every day? Do the same exercises and work the same muscles? Write on the same topic? I personally have a tendency to do all these things, mostly because I don’t have to think twice. But habit is such a rut-creating experience that atrophies curiosity and strength over time. […]

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