Cultivating the power of habit is the ultimate productivity tool. Learning how to shape your habits is like learning how to fly a plane — once you know how, you can go just about anywhere you want to go — much faster. But first, you’ve got to learn how to fly the plane.
The thing about habits is they have different characteristics and ingredients.
How you cultivate them requires understanding the features of the habit and using strategies and tools appropriate to that habit. For example, habits range from simple to extremely complex. Some are easier to change than others.
Some habits are composed of many smaller habits and so can’t be changed all at once. Some were learned on purpose, most are learned by accident, without you even being aware you are learning them. Most habits can’t be learned on a time schedule. In fact, putting time pressure on yourself to learn them actually makes them harder to learn. That old adage that it takes 21 days to establish a habit is actually a myth. Continue reading