Humans are easily distracted – that’s a fact of life.
Think about the last time you tried to get something done but kept having your attention directed elsewhere. It probably happened recently, so noisy is modern day life.
Part of the issue we face relates to the myriad of distractions in the digital age. From emails to smartphone notifications and the near immediacy with which we can contact anyone, staying focused on a single task has become increasingly difficult.
Why good habits are important
So, consider this a guide for how to build good habit mindsets for everything you do in life.
This is a fair question. Why, when there are simply too many distractions these days, is it important to have good habits?
Won’t they just disappear as soon as something else seemingly more important or interesting arrives on your horizon?
Not at all – providing you bear in mind the following reasons why it’s important to have good habits.
1. They define you
It’s rather hard to provide solid definition for a good habit – but that’s the point; they’re unique to all of us.
Your good habits should be designed to help you get on in life .
It’ll be the time you wake each morning and the time you head to bed. It’ll be the way you brush your teeth and the manner by which you complete your to-do list.
Good habits are yours and they define who you are.
2. You don’t have to stick by them
Your habits shouldn’t remain rigidly in place for the rest of your life.
Far from it, in fact. The best habits evolve as you do; they’ll adapt to your experiences, mistakes and successes.
If you decide that your diet isn’t as good as it could be, you can change your eating habits. Similarly, if you realise your to-do list isn’t as effective as it should be, you can modify your approach and ensure it becomes consistent.
3. They’ll enable you to reach your goals
The best athletes on the planet are ruled by their habits. Training, eating right and winning are all habits they have to ingrain into their everyday lives if they want to be the best.
The same goes for you; without the right habits in your life, you won’t reach your personal and business goals.
How do you form good habits?
So, now we know why you need good habits, how can you form good habits and stick to them?
This is possibly the hardest task of the lot, because we’re so easily distracted and a habit, by definition, is difficult to stick to during those early days.
It all starts by identifying the habits you can form which are so easy you can’t help but work them into your life.
By starting new behaviours that are easy to adopt almost immediately, you’ll have a far better time of keeping them up.
Don’t be afraid to start small, either, because Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same applies to your habits.
Here’s two more things you can do to form good habits:
- Work out what’s holding you back. If you’re struggling to take on new habits, work out why. If, for instance, it’s exercise you’re unable to crack on with, look more deeply into what’s holding you back, because it almost certainly isn’t the fact your incapable of exercising.
- Create a fail plan. When developing new habits, you’ll regularly fail – but that’s fine. Learn from your failures and make sure they don’t happen again by creating a plan that defines what you need to do when you fail.
It’s also important to set schedules for your habits, rather than deadlines; these aren’t things you need to do by a specific date.
How to develop good habit and make it stick
Isn’t it annoying when other people seem to be getting lots done while your own productivity stifles?
Don’t be deterred – you too can form good habits and make sure they stick.
1. Don’t chase the big things
We’ve mentioned this already but it bears repeating.
Don’t try and run before you can walk with good habits.
Start stupidly small – even if it’s ensuring you always have your journal with you. That’s an example of a tiny habit that could blossom into something far more productive if it means you’ll eventually start a healthy bullet journalling habit.
2. Get addicted
You’ll only get into the habit of doing something if you enjoy doing it and subsequently become addicted.
You’ve probably experienced this before when you got involved in a project you couldn’t – and didn’t want to – put down. Habits should be the same – you should want to do them.
3. Celebrate every win, no matter how small
Your habits should be geared towards helping you win at stuff, but that doesn’t mean you should only celebrate the big wins.
When something small happens, celebrate it by giving yourself a hearty pat on the back.
Don’t beat yourself up for the failures, either, because they’ll come thick and fast, too. But the more you focus on those small wins, the more likely you are to continue on your pursuit of forming good habits.
How long does in take to build good habits?
There’s unfortunately no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, because habit building will take as long as it needs to.
Small habits can be picked up and made a constant in your life in a matter of minutes, while others could take months (if not years) to master.
Some habits are never ‘fully built’, either. So, try not to pay too much attention to how long it’ll take something to become a habit, and focus instead on doing it.
Apps to build good habits
There’s loads of cool apps out there to help you build good habits, but here’s our two favourites:
- Productive – Habit Tracker. Creating habits should be rewarding, and this app helps you reward yourself with a brilliant design, notifications and addictive gamification. See more here.
- Better Habits: Habit Tracker. As you can see from the reviews and blurb here, Better Habits is a stellar habit tracking app that has consistently topped the charts. And that’s no surprise thanks to the ‘streaks’ feature and today widget for instant access. It’s hard to put down.
Ready to get super-productive by building great habits? Don’t worry – you don’t have to resort to apps to get stuff done, a pen and paper or bullet journal is a great way to get started and might be all you need to become the efficient person you’re capable of becoming.