Episode 7 – Habits 2 of 4

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 The Mensch and the Machine – Episode 7 outline: Habits 2 of 4

Book: The Power of Habit By: Charles Duhigg

  • More than 40% of the actions you take each day are actually habits.
  • Habits are choices that you continue doing repeatedly without actually thinking about them. 
  • A habit has 3 steps:
  1. A cue, a trigger that tells your brain which habit to use and puts it into automatic mode.
  • The cue: End of afternoon, feeling a bit tired
  1. A routine, which acts out the habit. This can be physical, mental, or emotional.
  • The routine::  Ask a colleague to have a coffee break
  1. A reward, which is the result of the routine and reinforces the habit.
    • The Reward: coffee boost that you are looking for, just need a break, Or it’s the social aspect to chat with some colleagues
  • At one point, habits started with a decision, but they eventually became automatic.
  • The Golden rule of habit change is based on two steps. For changing a habit:
    • identify the components of the habit loop
    • change only one part in the loop
  • Habits have a powerful effect on our lives.
  • New habits can be installed, 
  • Have a simple cue,
    • This could be a poster of your favourite sports person 
    • It could also be by playing a motivating song
  • Have a routine – 10 minutes stretching and pushups   
  • Have a reward – It could be the endorphin rush or reward yourself with  favourite drink afterwards
  • Not all habits are created equal – There are keystone habits
  • Some habits have a ripple effect and produce much greater effects. They start like a chain reaction
  • willpower is the single most important keystone habit   because it translates to all other areas in life
  • Almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories:
  1. Location
  2. Time
  3. Emotional state
  4. Other people
  5. Immediately preceding action
  • If you’re trying to figure out the cue for a habit, write down five things the moment the urge hits:
    • Where are you?
    • What time is it?
    • What’s your emotional state?
    • Who else is around?
    • What action preceded the urge?

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