Twitter / Amanda Palmer: "Habit is the death of vis ...
"Habit is the death of vision." - Earon Davis
A short sound "bite" that is actually less useful than it looks. It should say something a little less pithy like "Poor habits can be the death of many valuable resources like time, energy and growth. Uncritical, habitual, thinking is the death of vision". However the value of cultivating good habits has been know for millennia
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
So the trick is adopt good habits and unlearn the bad ones.

How to uncover bad habits:

  1. Try and be conscious of what you do at all time
  2. Ask the people around you (family, close colleagues, friends)
  3. Keep a time log
  4. Film yourself using your PC with a webcam
  5. Review your day and consider what could have been better (the rule of threes -- note three things that were good and three things that need to be improved)

What are some examples of bad habits:

  1. Procrastination
  2. Snacking on junk food
  3. Worrying about other peoples opinions and using what you guessed they thought to be beat yourself up
  4. Thinking that your state of mind is dependent on others peoples' actions instead of it being your responsibility
  5. Being critical of other people and concerned with what they do when it has no direct affect on you
  6. Dwelling on missed opportunities and thinking "if only...."
  7. Picking your nose, not covering your mouth when you cough etc.
  8. Worrying about things without being able to use the thoughts to improve the outcome

Here some some suggestions for good habits:

  1. Review your habits and look for improvements
  2. Get enough sleep
  3. Get up early enough to make full use of the day
  4. Know what you need to do and get it done (people write books on that, I used their ideas and wrote a post)
  5. Love and like as many people as you can
  6. Shower daily, clean your teeth and wear clean clothes
  7. Set yourself goals to learn or experience new things
  8. Help others as much as you can
  9. Ask for help if you need it
  10. Smile and be courteous - remember most things that people do which annoy you are mistakes or bad habits, not deliberate attempts to upset you, you are not that important.
  11. Plan and think things through, then don't dwell on them in a negative spiral of worry
  12. Look after yourself

How to unlearn bad habits:

I struggle with this, as do most people, and I'm not a psychologist so the advice is a bit mundane
  1. Elastic band on the wrist - ping yourself when you catch yourself doing it
  2. Ask friends to remind if they see you doing something
  3. Substitute. e.g. carry fruit and veg to eat instead of buying chocolate
  4. Try and make the habit redundant. e.g. Plan projects so that you feel in control and can stop worrying about them
  5. Remove triggers. If certain places or activities trigger a bad habit then try and avoid them
  6. Give yourself some credit and don't do it all at once
  7. Try and look at the root cause when you catch yourself. e.g. are you procrastinating because you think you won't succeed? Are you not planning because your system is too complicated to use?
Finally Use tools and techniques that support your good habits e.g. mind mapping tools to help you brainstorm improvements. Make sure they work for you.

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