Change the reward, change the habit
According to Charles Duhigg, author of several best-selling books, including ‘The Power of Habit’ and ‘Smarter Better Faster’, who tuned in at the global #GTDSummit June 2019 in Amsterdam, every habit has three components: A trigger, a routine and a reward.
We can really change the way of how we behave by influencing the rewards. If we are having trouble with doing, it may be that there is not the right trigger in place.
Exercise is a great example of this. Your brain pays attention to the consequences of actions. If going for a run in the morning means you are rushed to get to work, you will not want to do it again. But you give yourself a nice reward after going for a run, you reinforce it in your brain to make it easier and easier without having to think about it.
Great enabler of changing behaviour is developing Keystone habits
A keystone habit is one that if you change that one habit, it sets off a chain reaction that also changes other habits. You may have noticed that when you had a regular exercise routine, you were prone to eat healthier and stay hydrated. Charles Duhigg says that people who change this keystone habit of exercising regularly, would also use their credit card less, procrastinate 20% less at work and do their dishes 20 minutes earlier than otherwise!!
This is because starting a new habit gives you a new sense of who you are and it changes your self-awareness and confidence.
So how do we apply keystone habits to power our GTD practice?
I have been fortunate to coach and train hundreds of people in my public seminars and innumerable teams in my corporate seminars across Australia, helping them in understanding and implementing GTD. I notice there are 4 keystone habits that help people surf on top of their world with the Getting Things Done Methodology:
- Habit of capturing all that has their attention
- Being addicted to an empty intray – regular processing their IN to Zero
- Daily review of tasks and calendar before starting the day
- Weekly review of all their commitments.
The reward for these keystone GTD habits is very powerful: feeling in control over all your commitments, enabling you to make trusted decisions about where to spend your energy and time, not worrying about things falling through the crack! It is a powerful reward, don’t you think?
What keystone habits do you feel would be beneficial for you to develop in your work and life?
Stay Productive, Stay Stress-Free,