The Power Of Habits 💪🏽
We all have them – habits. Good and bad ones, some that we’re not even aware of, some that we could do without and some that we really want to create. Habits are key to achieving our goals in life: Regular practice and dedicated time is what allows us to grow and push our limits further.
👉🏼 Meet Clo, a UX researcher turned certified digital wellbeing coach. Across her work, she’s witnessed the impact of our digital tools on productivity, healthy boundaries, and mental health.
As the founder of This Too Shall Grow she publishes a newsletter called Digital Wellness, packed with articles, tips, and science-based advice to build a better relationship with our devices.
Check out the video interview below to learn all about habits and how the Earkick self care companion app can help you succeed!
What exactly are habits? 🧠
Habits are unconscious behaviors we rely on for our everyday life. If we had to consciously decide all the actions we perform each day, we’d lose a lot of energy and time making up our mind: At what time do I go to the gym? What’s my commute to work? What do I eat for breakfast, etc.
Habits can be built more or less intentionally by repeating something over time until the behavior becomes a default action. Checking your phone every 10 minutes might be default but not intentional, but learning a new language by going to in-person lessons 3 times a week is very intentional.
How Can You Build Healthy Habits Easily? 🤩
- Leverage the 5 types of triggers: time, location, preceding event, emotional state, and other people (e.g. every time you take the bus to work you do one breathing exercise, or before eating a meal you drink a glass of water)
- Habit stacking: pair a new habit to an existing one, so you don’t have to create a whole new setup
- Implement intentions: write “if-then statements” for your new habit beforehand (e.g. “If I’m out with friends and they offer me wine, then I will get soda instead”)
- Design accountability with yourself or others
- Pair up with someone who’s already committed to building the habit you want
How To Avoid Running Into Common Pitfalls: 😅
- Understand why you want the habit, the deep root of desiring to change
- Use a habit tracker app with smart reminders and check-off functions
- Be flexible, not perfect: aim for 5/7 days instead of 7/7 days
- Start small instead of trying to change all your habits at once
- Replace habits instead of breaking them: You can’t erase an existing neural pathway, but you can overwrite it
- Engage in mindfulness: It helps you notice your feelings and catch yourself in moments you’re deviating from your goals
How Can Our Environment Be Leveraged? 💡
- Spend time in places and with people where the new habit you want to create is the norm.
- Change your environment to help change your habits. If you want to drastically reduce your time on social media, avoid spending a lot of time in environments where you’re habituated to be on social media. Those places are (unconsciously) linked to your social media habit and will trigger the desire to indulge in it.
Why Habits Matter For Workplace Mental Health 📈
- Having strong habits and a good structure helps to keep distractions at bay and saves hours for deep work. This is especially important in company cultures where employees’ days are caught up in meetings and protected focus time is rare.
- Healthy habits are key for physical wellbeing at work, especially for knowledge workers who spend most of the day sitting down in front of a screen: You can make it a habit to stand up and stretch regularly, hydrate enough or relax your eyes by going for a short walk outdoors.
- As a remote worker, you need clear boundaries to protect your mental health: Partition work hours and private hours to spend quality time with your family or for leisure. Clo regularly sees clients who work from home and struggle because work spills into the evening, leaving them less time to relax. Having healthy work habits at home lets you fully disconnect in the evening and during weekends.
What New Habit Are You Eager To Build? 🙌🏽
Clo’s goal for example is learning to wake up early. She realized that she prefers doing focused work and going to the gym in the morning. So she decided to give herself “more morning” by getting up earlier.
If you are building a new habit, please share it with us – we’d love to root for you!
How To Get In Touch With Clo:
Twitter Clo: @clo__s
Twitter This Too Shall Grow: @this2shallgrow
LinkedIn Clo: @Clo S
LinkedIn This Too Shall Grow: @This Too Shall Grow
Instagram This Too Shall Grow: this2shallgrow