This post is Part 3 of 6 of The Power of Repetition Series.
Batching Routines and Tackling Problematic Habits
I used to enjoy a series of web-comics – about 15 or 16 of them, actually. I’d find myself, throughout the day periodically remembering that there was one that I hadn’t seen lately. Sometimes I was wrong in not seeing it and had actually just read it that morning. It doesn’t take long to read a comic, but it was an interruption to attention. That it interrupts attention is likely as important, if not more so, than the time it takes.
To solve this issue, I compiled the comics a folder in browser’s bookmark toolbar. In addition, I created a daily repeating task called “Comics!” much like the one above. Doing this, batched all of my comic reading into a single place and time. It also meant that unless there is something extremely pressing, I could still keep pace with the comics I read. It became a treat in the day that no longer interrupted attention dedicated to another project.
Interestingly, however, after a short period of time, I stopped reading such a large number of comics altogether. I realized reading all of them actually took a significant period of time, an entire session, that could have been spent learning to play the guitar, for example. Also, I’d been relying on them to interrupt my work. They were a means of helping me relieve tension associated with getting into a project. When I removed that process, I realized how much I had been avoiding. Now, if there is a very specific comic I’d like to read, I am much more likely to read it deliberately and without getting derailed from something else.
The Power of Repetition Series will post weekly. Links will become available as they are published:
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – Build and Keep Habits
- Part 3 – Tackle Problem Habits
- Part 4 – Clear Clutter
- Part 5 – Create Flow
- Part 6 – Avoid Deadline Pressures