With habits we want to do more of, we can reduce the friction. We can make it easier for us to do whatever those things are.
- Bring gym clothes to work so it’s easier to workout right after the day is done.
- Leave a notebook on top of the coffee machine so you can journal while the coffee is brewing in the morning.
- Find a buddy who can be an accontability partner, to make it easier to consistently go to the gym, to a foreign language meetup, or any other activity you want to improve yourself with.
With habits we want to do less of, we do the opposite: we add friction.
These past few weeks, I’ve been trying a stupidly simple strategy for watching less YouTube on my phone.
On top of deleting the app from my phone, I changed the rule for myself. I can watch as much YouTube on my phone as I want. I just have to log in and log out each time.
That little bit of added friction, that extra step…It’s enough to make me realize that I don’t actually want to watch anything in particular. I just want to stimulate and distract myself.
It works. I feel little to no compulsion to log onto YouTube on my phone.
But there are YouTubers I subscribe to and want to watch each day or so. That’s fine, but it means at the end of the day, I have to sit down on my couch and pull it up on my TV. It’s my version of Netflix.
This makes it more intentional. I’m not scrolling through the algorithm waiting to be entertained.
For yourself, what do you want to do less of? How can you make it harder for yourself to do that thing?
Relying on extra willpower and discipline is a fool’s game.