Beeminder Forum

Book Club: Atomic Habits by James Clear


Sounds plausible, but try again now; I just made you a moderator!



I’m going to brainstorm my next habit here so anyone can chime in or get inspiration for similar habits.

So, I want to create a habit: When I notice that {my mind becomes weak and I keep distracting myself, ignore beeminder goals etc.}, I want to {meditate and make a short plan with tasks and a schedule for the rest of the day}. It’s not a huge problem, since I don’t get into that situation all too often, but I would just like to have my personal standardized exit strategy.

Atomic Habits tells me to:

Make it obvious: I do notice when I get into that state of mind (I call it “self-destruction mode”, although it’s usually not as bad as that sounds). What I need to make obvious is the exit strategy: meditation + scheduling. How would you do this? Meditation is not a physical object that I can put next to me. Although I could possibly get a meditation pillow and a small notebook and pen just for scheduling.

Make it attractive: Meditation and scheduling makes me feel good and leads to productivity, which makes me feel even better after a while. BUT, surfing that stupid website right now makes me feel good right there and then. Not sure how to combat this. Any ideas?

Make it easy: Again, meditation pillow and notebook/pen make it easy physically. But the hard thing is saying no to instant gratification of some distracting website or app. Maybe I could make the requirements super low, like “sit on a pillow and count 10 breath cycles, then write down all tasks and pick the next three in order”. I think that might work.

Make it satisfying: This seems like the easiest one since it’s really satisfying to be productive. Maybe I can celebrate it a little more by filling up my water (fresh water is super satisfying), taking a huge sip, and then diving into work.

Sorry for “spamming” with my individual habits here, but I guess I needed to brainstorm publicly to make myself formulate these steps clearly. I find that all those steps lined out in Atomic Habits sound great but aren’t always very tangible. So if anyone has any ideas for or remarks on that specific habit (especially how to make it “attractive”), I’d be happy to hear them! Thanks! :slight_smile:



I think that workshopping a goal like this is an excellent way for us all to get some practice with the ideas in the book! Thank you for sharing.

Having a special notebook for your habit (especially if it has good paper and feels nice to write in!) is a good approach to making it attractive, because you’re associating the positive habit with a pleasurable ritual.



Thanks, @dehowell! You are right, having a really nice notebook just for that could help make it attractive!

Feels like all four steps are really interconnected and a good tool helps at multiple steps: The notebook makes it obvious (and easy) if I put it next to my laptop. And it makes the scheduling attractive because now it’s going to be the nicest notebook I can get. :wink:



Well thanks to the book (and re-reading these concepts from James Clear, i think he was giving away a short ebook on habits) I’ve upped my methods on trying to reduce mobile use: social media apps are removed, Screen Time is enabled and beeminded, and almost all sites are blocked behind a “parental” passcode :smiley:

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Have you find a method other than manual data entry?



Not really , all this data is local on the device. So it’s manual entry.



RescueTime on Android no longer allows for web page tracking via Chrome :(, and there’s no way I would ever install the Facebook app on Android, so I’m in a sad place right now there too ;(

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“Just” ban yourself from using Facebook on mobile totally. :wink: That works for me, at least. Also, I have Messenger Lite installed (without notifications) and if I absolutely need to see a page outside of Messenger, I can do that by clicking on any of my conversations, view their profile and then navigate from there (it’s just a mobile page that opens). It’s annoying enough that I almost never resort to that option. You could do the same and track your time on Messenger Lite maybe?

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Not sure if that was directed at me but my issue is more generic. I can easily lose 30 minutes reading Hacker News comments or even Wikipedia :smiley:



It was actually a reply to @adamwolf’s Facebook/Android/Rescuetime problem. :slight_smile:

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