Book review the power of habit
Many people recommended me this book, yet it took me a long time to read it because I was already convinced that good habits are the way to win in life. I thought it would be a waste of time. I only decided to read because I was procrastinating to finish other more complex books and wanted something easier to read. What a great surprise this book was, I learned so much from it.
The book helped me understand how to build habits and wire them into our minds using the “Habit loop.” That was fantastic to help me understand why some good habits were so easy to onboard to my life and others I failed many times.
It incorporates many stories and mentions papers that back up the authors’ points about each subject. Simplifying many habits to a trigger, a routine, and a reward, and if repeated enough times, it gets to your brain and will become automatic.
The habit loop worked well for me in the past. For example, when I started working out, even without knowing what I was doing, I started going to the gym every day at lunchtime (trigger), workout (routine), and I eat a very delicious meal after (reward).
When I started preparing my breakfast every day, I started doing that first thing in the morning (trigger), preparing the coffee and bananas pancake(routine), and each my delicious and healthy meal after that (reward).
The habit loop is the core idea of the book. I am building new habits using that method. For example, I am trying to develop a routine that I have failed too many times before, cleaning the house every day.
I love and enjoy working in neat places. A few years ago, I completely changed my office from an awful place to a very organized one and tidy office. I noticed an enormous boost in productivity once I did that.
I have been trying to build the habit of keeping my house clean and organized but have failed, having to spend time on the weekends, for example, to organize it.
The only way I managed to keep my office organized was to clean it daily. So I decided to build the habit of cleaning the house every day. Not the entire house but by parts, so it will always be clean and neat, and I can spend less weekend time working on it.
Here is what I am planning (to do at this point).
*The trigger : * As soon as I finish my breakfast, I start. That is an easy trigger, and it is usually the time my wife is still sleeping, and no one is working yet, and I can control better what I do.
*The action : * 1 hour of cleaning or organizing the house. I have a schedule in my freezer in the kitchen, so I can control what I have already done that week and what is still need to do.
*The reward : * After the cleaning, I take my pre-workout shake and usually stand still in the clean and need space. I in the organized place to enjoy the feeling.
Is it worth spending 5 to 6 hours a week cleaning? Should I not spend time doing something more productive?
I consider living in a neat place very productive. The productivity gain and mental clarity it brings to me, is more worth it than extra 5 hours of work.
I already work a considerable amount of hours. Working +50 hours a week in my main job, +4 hours a week in my own company(Vilarika), and +4 hours in my project Nun-db, not to count independent consulting, writing in this blog, creating YouTube videos, and other activities consider work. I see cleaning as a relaxing moment.
In the past, I usually spend this time listening to the news or scrolling on social media. That is a terrible habit that rarely brings something good to my life. Moreover, I usually clean in silence, using the time to think about nothing other than what I am doing; it works as a digital detox moment.
How is it going?
By the time I m writing this post, it has been about one month since I have been following this routine, and it has worked magically. I have not missed a day of cleaning. Some days I will take about 30 minutes and want to jump on something I am reading or writing, but I feel much better.
It seems to be getting easier over time. I wonder how it will look 30 days from now. It seems like the book method works. I will try to incorporate one more habit once this one has stuck (1 or 2 months from now). My goal is to read books instead of watching YouTube or Netflix when alone. I watch some shows with my wife, and she is not too into books nowadays, so I already spend a reasonable amount of time watching stuff with her, and I want to read more consistently as I think that reading is one of the fastest to progress in life.
The reading is worth it if you are also a habit nerd or trying to be one. There is not much new information if you have read many other books in this field. Nevertheless, the book is easy to read and has many fascinating examples that you may want to carry with you in your memory.
Where to find it
- Book Review: Efficient Linux at the Command Line
- Book review / personal notes - Distributed Tracing in Practice: Instrumenting, Analyzing, and Debugging Microservices
- Book review The 5AM Club
- Book review Everything in Its Place The Power of Mise-En-Place to Organize Your Life, Work, and Mind
- Book review the power of habit
- Book review The Art of Community Building the New Age of Participation (Abandoned)
- Book review And personal notes : Fundamentals of Software Architecture An Engineering Approach
- Book review Working in Public The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software
- Book review How to Take Smart Notes One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking
- Book review Staff Engineer Leadership Beyond the Management Track
- Book review Traction Get A Grip On Your Business
- Book review Designing Data-Intensive Applications The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems
- Book review Atomic Habits
- Book review Adopting Elixir From Concept to Production