In one of my previous posts from last week, I discussed several habits that can help you become more productive each day. These are habits that are easy to implement and can result in positive effects in your life. We may think of ourselves practicing bad habits, but there are good habits to make the most out of our time. I reviewed six of them from the good habits list, and I will discuss the rest of the practices shortly.
Good habits list
BJ Fogg (Ph.D.), a Stanford University behavior scientist, has been studying how habits formed for the last two decades. The bigger question he still looks into is how people stick to certain practices in the long-haul. Since he started studying patterns, people are likely to stick to their habits if they don’t require a lot of motivation. The habits that people are expected to hold to are usually smaller, easy ones to start. More so, Fogg emphasizes that people need to start small, rather than go big on habits.
Good habits list: Six More Tips
One example that Fogg gives out is drinking a gallon of water. If your goal is to drink up to one gallon of water daily, start with one sip of water after you wake up. If you start small and progress throughout the day, you’re likely to reach that goal toward drinking one gallon of water. So that’s one good example of thinking of a small, simple habit. In this post, I will go over the remaining six practices from Fogg’s book Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything.
Tip # 7
After I notice a call going on for longer than expected, I’ll say this: “It’s been great to talk, but I need to wrap up. What haven’t we covered yet that’s important?
I usually don’t talk on the phone often, but many people do every day at their jobs. If you planned a 15-minute phone call with a client but goes on a half-hour, you should wrap up the call. If it’s essential, that’s understandable. I’ve been in that situation a couple of times, and I wish I could have done better with the timing.
Tip # 8
After I read an important email, I will file it in a folder for the designated project.
Not all email is essential, but some of them need prioritization. If it’s related to a project, you’ll probably need to save it for future reference. Don’t get in a bad habit of ignoring or putting it to the side. I’ve done that before for a big project at work, and it caused a lot of frustration for me. If I were more organized back then, I would have saved myself some headaches.
Tip # 9
After I read an e-mail I can’t deal with immediately; I will mark it as unread.
Now and then, there are emails I need to read right away. But if I can’t handle it at that moment, I make sure to come back to it later. How I set up my email: I create a separate folder called “For Later.” I’ll also create folders for “Save For Tomorrow” or “Save For Next Week.” These are emails that don’t need immediate attention. Any emails I can’t read or respond to, I will mark unread and move to the “For Later” folder. It’s much easier to do than rush through the email, especially if it’s essential.
Tip # 10
After I read a time-sensitive e-mail, I will reply with this script: “Got it. I will review it in detail and get back in touch soon.”
This tip is a good one to keep in mind. Emails that require an immediate response keep me on high alert sometimes. I’m pressured to send a formal response, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you send a short reply, that’s all you need to do. I’ve gotten better at that in the last few months. It’s better to save time when you need to focus on other priorities.
Tip # 11
After I leave the office, I will think about one success from the day.
For some people, it’s not that simple because we all have our bad days. When our bad days take place, it’s more negative than positive. However, even if it’s working on a small portion of work, it’s still a tiny form of accomplishment. If you finished the halfway mark, it’s still a success in some way or the other.
In my last job, I had some days where I planned on getting a lot accomplished. Only to find myself getting half of the work done by the end of the day. Some days don’t work out as planned. Unexpected things come up, and that can change the outcome of your day. Even though it happens, you’re not always going to get everything done. So also, if you get some work done, it’s still meaningful one way or the other.
Tip # 12
After I walk in the door at home, I will hang my keys on the hook.
It’s so simple, yet some people won’t care enough to remember. They may get distracted and forget about the small things. But if you hung up your keys on the hook, you’ll know it’ll be there the next time you head out the door. If not, they might be somewhere else (such as in the pockets of the pants you wore the day before).
Whenever I walk in my apartment, I hang my keys up right after closing my door. I keep in a spot where I can grab them before I walk out the door. I don’t want to end up finding my keys the next day, and all of a sudden, I wasted several minutes and running late to work. That scenario happens to many people, and it’s very frustrating. So don’t be one of those people, leave your belongings in a secure spot to remember.
Overall, the last six habits are some of the best ones to practice. Even though they seem small and simple to do, the key is to stick to these habits. As Fogg mentions in his book, “When you go tiny, you don’t need to rely on willpower or motivation. Tiny will grow bigger, just like a seed grows into a tree.“ When starting a good habit, it takes some time to get used to it. But after practicing for a while, you’ll get the hang of it.
One other thing Fogg mentions is to celebrate after completing a new habit. Even if it’s a small one, it’s good to reward yourself after making an effort at it. You’ll more likely repeat that habit. In terms of psychology, think of the positive reinforcement-reinforcing stimulus when forming new habits.
Which of the habits mentioned earlier are you willing to practice?
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