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How to Change Habits

Shawn Blanc:

One of the reasons I wear a watch is to help keep me from pulling my phone out as often as I would. If I want to check the time I look at my watch. Because as soon as I’m holding my phone, it’s instinct at this point to swipe-to-unlock the thing. And then, once the phone is unlocked and I’m staring blankly at my Home screen of icons, I’m going to want to launch an app. But because I unlocked the phone without any clear plan for what I needed to do, the next thing I know I’m checking Twitter. And all the while, I don’t even know what time it is. See? It’s a bad habit.

There are three components that make up a habit: Trigger → Response → Reward.

How many times have I pulled out my phone to check the time and saw a notification, followed it and didn't check the time and then followed the rathole and lost track of time?

One way of thinking that has really resonated with me recently is the idea of being intentional in everything we do. Shawn talks about being intentional about unlocking his phone. In the hyper-everything world we live in, I really believe we need to master ourselves for us to be successful.