How to Build New Habits & Increase Your Productivity

Time (increase productivity)

It can sometimes be difficult to remember everything you want to remember and do. You can write it down on a Post-it note, set up a reminder on your phone or ask somebody else to help you remember it. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it’s not enough.

Dr. BJ Fogg created the Fogg Behavior Model where he explains that for a behavior to happen you need motivation, ability and a trigger.

Fogg Behavior Model

Source: BehaviorModel.org

Creating triggers could help you remember what you want to remember. If you want to build a new habit you can associate it with something you’re already doing – I like to call it a ‘mental attachment’. If you want to remember to do something, link it to another activity you know you’re going to do (something you will most likely remember).

I call them mental attachments because they’re almost like email attachments, latching on to another thought or activity. It’s similar to tying a string knot on your finger to remember something.

As an example, just before I go to bed I want to do a set of stretches (it helps strengthen the back), so when I approach the bed I do a mental check: “Did I stretch tonight?”. It has reminded me so many times to do it. I have a few other things that I want to do before I go to sleep. So another mental attachment I’ve created is when I go to brush my teeth, then I do a mental check to see if I have taken my probiotics.

I find this to be a very effective way of building good habits. But you can also use these kind of mental attachments (triggers) to remember one-time things. You can decide to remember something when you get back to the car (e.g. if you thought of something at the grocery store) – the trigger would be when you sit down in your car.

What do you want to remember? What mental attachment can you create to build a new habit and increase your productivity?

About Hannes Johnson

Hannes is passionate about the Internet, digital marketing and user experience. He has been studying Internet marketing pretty much since 1997 when he was working on getting his GeoCities website to rank higher on AltaVista ;) Hannes likes creating stuff: photos, videos, websites, music, food... You can follow Hannes on Twitter.

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