Lately, I have been searching for unique ways to conserve time, increase productivity, and de-clutter my mind. And guess what…
Its been tough!! Lol, but seriously…it has.
Well, I think its because we (yes, not only me) always have something or someone pulling for our attention.
Whether its work, school, bills, chores, clients, kids, pets, fitness, etc., we are all seemingly fighting to keep our head above water while attempting to finish each of our daily tasks.
So, how can we accomplish “more” in less time? And more importantly, how can we do it with ease?
I believe the concept of “Habit Stacking” can help. Lets take a look at what it is and how it works.
To explain the concept of “Habit Stacking,” I am going to defer to a subject matter expert named James Clear. He wrote the New York Times besting selling book called “Atomic Habits” and he explains the concept very well. – BTW, I am listening to the book on Audible now and it is fantastic.
Here is how James explains habit stacking…
You probably have very strong habits and connections that you take for granted each day. For example, your brain is probably very efficient at remembering to take a shower each morning or to brew your morning cup of coffee or to open the blinds when the sun rises … or thousands of other daily habits. You can take advantage of these strong connections to build new habits.
When it comes to building new habits, you can use the connectedness of behavior to your advantage. One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.
Based on his explanation, if you are wanting to create a new habit (or use your time more efficiently), you would consider taking a well established habit and using it as a cue to begin the new habit you are trying to create.
Seems fairly straight forward right? – I thought so…
Lets see what this looks like in practice.
Habit Stacking Examples
The formula for habit stacking is as follows:
Before/during/after (insert current habit), I will (insert new habit)
Here are a couple habits that I created recently and am committed to working on:
- After my morning alarm sounds, I will turn on the lights and drink a full glass of water.
- After I pour my cup of coffee, I will read 5 pages in a business book.
- After reading 5 pages, I will start my morning run.
- During my morning run, I will listen to an educational podcast.
- During long drives, I will listen to audio books/podcasts that will enhance my life and business.
- Before sitting down to dinner, I will put my phone on silent.
- Before going to bed, I will set out my clothes for the next day and build my to-do list.
As you can probably see, a lot of my habits are focused on education and/or fitness, both of which are big priorities for me this year. But, the list could go on forever and there are many different habits you could focus on.
Here are a few more that James listed that may be worth considering:
- After I pour my cup of coffee each morning, I will meditate for one minute.
- After I take off my work shoes, I will immediately change into my workout clothes.
- After I sit down to dinner, I will say one thing I’m grateful for that happened today.
- After I get into bed at night, I will give my partner a kiss.
- After I put on my running shoes, I will text a friend or family member where I am running and how long it will take.
Summing it all up
We all have the same 24hrs in a day… Obviously LOL
But, how we chose to use those hours is what sets us apart. Habit stacking is another way to build on existing habits and formulate new ones that will allow us to be more productive while conversing more of our precious time.
Lastly, it creates routine and consistency with our habits which actually frees up our brain power to make new and more important decisions for the day.
Hope you find this information useful!
All the best!
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