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The Tinkered Mind
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September 30th, 2019
This episode is an extension of Episode 496, entitled Organized Systems which addressed the issue of Tinkered Thinking releasing episodes late. The premise of the episode is that every recurrent problem requires a system that solves it automatically. For most people, this is going to take the shape of a habit.
James Clear and Charles Duhigg have written extensively about the creation and use of habits and one of the largest take-aways from such research and work is that the first month is the hardest, but it gets easier as the run streak of repeated behavior passes certain thresholds. 3 days, 5 days, 7, 21 and 30 days seem to be the most notable. That first month is the hardest.
So Tinkered Thinking set out to commit to a month of on time posting and today marks thirty days in a row. There were one or two days that were a couple hours behind the designated time due to unforeseen recording issues, but not one day went by without a post.
James Clear in particular outlines a good system for how to make this first month happen, and much of it was simplified for this Tinkered Thinking experiment. Two things in particular were of great benefit. Each time a ‘habit threshold’ was passed, some sort of pre-planned reward was at hand, and small daily pleasures were withheld until the daily work was finished.
A set time every day for this work would be ideal, but do to the nature of other primary projects, this doesn’t get to happen everyday.
It is remarkable to look back over the first month while building any habit. Things do get easier, and by the time the end rolls around, it feels nearly inevitable. Like the falling of the last domino. The work isn’t so hard to do, because so much work has already been done.
After just one short month, there’s already momentum.
Do we stop here, and simply expect it to continue? or is there some way we can Level-up and further entrench the progress?
Staying on time is one thing, but what about staying ahead?
Perhaps this will be the next iteration of the habit to install, but for now, there are rewards to be enjoyed…