Blog: Habits as Powerful Life Hacks
Habits are interesting because our life experience is a cumulation of our habits over time. If we have healthy habits, like eating well and running regularly, you’d expect to be a reasonably healthy person. Likewise, if we have unhealthy habits, such a smoking regularly and drinking heavily, you’d expect certain health issues to arise sooner or later. Habits become the building blocks of our lives.
We can choose to have a coffee with breakfast instead of an orange juice, making the same choice again and again over time creates a mental groove or habit. Pretty soon we don’t even think about the various options, we make the coffee almost without thinking, because we are in the habit of it.
Author Jeremy Dean writes in his book ‘Making Habits, Breaking Habits’ that we spend at least a third of our waking life on autopilot, making choices and taking actions based on habits. That is a huge amount of time! A very useful aspect of spending so much time on autopilot is that it saves our mental energy for new, challenging decisions and tasks. However, in order to maximise the potential available it is important that our habits are aligned with our goals and responsibilities, otherwise we are wasting a lot of time.
The good news is that we have quite a lot of control over making and breaking habits (we are not referring to addictions here). Rather than accepting the habits we have unconsciously created and continued to practice, we can actively choose to create new habits that support our current business goals and lifestyle.
How to use Habits as a Life Hack
- Do an audit of your current habits. Ask yourself the following questions: Are they supporting your work & business goals? Are they increasing or decreasing your productivity? Are they making you happy and healthy?
- One by one break the unsupportive habits.
- Decide which new habits will support you better.
- Start small, one new habit at a time, rewarding yourself for staying on track.
Over time as you replace outdated or unhelpful habits with new, aligned habits you will be able to maximise that third of the day in autopilot by filling it up with productive, healthy and useful habits. It sounds simple, but maintaining habits aligned with your goals requires conscious awareness, discipline and consistency.
We hope you have found this useful and are cheering you on from the side-lines. Remember, to use habits as a life hack you need to fill up the third of your time in autopilot with all kinds of useful, healthy, productive habits.