Developing a Morning Routine

You decide to develop a new habit and find yourself stuck with the old ones, even one month post making that decision. Procrastination is our natural habit, we keep on procrastinating anything which takes effort and is full of boredom.

I was also facing the same challenge of procrastination 1 year back when i wanted to develop a morning routine which should comprise of workout and reading. It took a lot of will power at the start of the new habit. I was feeling pathetic the whole day when i started waking up at 5.30 am. Each day was really challenging for me, I used to hate the the sound of morning alarm. But, how did i pull it off? When i look back, I believe knowingly and unknowingly I have made some good and bad choices and here are the insights i gained from them:

  1. The first week is the most difficult one or the first step is the the most difficult. Once you have taken your first step you gain confidence to take the next one.
  2. You need a lot of will power and willingness to suffer at the start of the process of change. Once you have made up your mind to suffer the suffering subsides over time.
  3. You need to be consistent with the process of change, any small gap in between the consistency is enough to pull you back to your old habit, so tread the path carefully.
  4. After first few days, the routine starts getting boring, so this is true test of your character. You need to understand the boredom is the part of the process.
  5. You don’t gain confidence on the day when you feel like waking up early, instead you gain confidence on the day you wake up early even if you don’t feel like doing it.
  6. Any positive habit give you a compounded return, so you will have to wait for that threshold period when you can break even to exceptional returns.
  7. Even after you have done it for so many days, you can’t take things for granted, our mind is so tuned to laziness and procrastination that it’s very easy to fall back to your temptations of sleeping late.
  8. Finally, you should always consider that it’s your day one, like Amazon calls it and you will never be complacent.

So, these are my few learning from the morning routine I developed in last 12 months.

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Book Lesson 03- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Why Should you read this?41CLybict0L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

  • To understand why we keep on checking our social media feeds throughout the day and sometimes without even realizing that.
  • What behavioral design tools and cues tech companies use to hook us to their products.
  • To understand the hook cycle i.e. the four-phase process companies use to form habits.
  • To learn how to build a habit-forming product in the era of 24*7 high-speed internet access and the Dos and Don’ts such product design.

Key Takeaways!

  • According to Cognitive psychologists, “Habits are automatic behaviors triggered by situational cues, things we do with little or no conscious thought.” Habit-forming products change user behavior and create unprompted user engagement. Businesses that create customer habits gain a significant competitive advantage.
  • The four steps of hook model are- Trigger (can be external or internal), Action, Variable Reward, and Investment.

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  1. A trigger can be a new notification on your Facebook App after let’s say uploading a picture
    External trigger tells the user what to do next by placing information in the user’s environment whereas Internal triggers tell the user what to do next through the associations stored in the user’s memory.
  2. When you click on Facebook App in anticipation of likes or comments, this is the Action. As per the Fogg model, Action or Behavior occurs when motivation, ability, and trigger are present at the same time in sufficient degrees.
  3. The likes/comments you see on your pic is the variable reward as it changes every time you open the App and it builds an anticipation of something new every time. This variable reward gives a dopamine surge in our brain which keeps us hooked.
    There are three types of variable rewards:

    1. Rewards of the Tribe– Search for social rewards through connectedness (Facebook)
    2. Rewards of the Hunt– Search for material resources and information (Flipboard)
    3. Rewards of the Self– Search for intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence (Video games)
  4. Investment occurs when the user puts something into the product or service i.e. time, data, efforts, social capital etc. So, it increases the likelihood of user returning again.
  • Behaviors are LIFO- “Last in, first out.” In other words, habits you have recently acquired are also the ones most likely to go soonest. So, once a habit is formed over a long period of time, it’s very unlikely that someone will leave that habit soon. That’s why habits keep users/customers loyal.
  • The product’s habit-forming potential is determined by two factors: frequency of use and the perceived utility of the product. The higher the value on both the parameters, higher is the habit-forming potential. So, the more a product is used because of induced habit, the more data it gathers and more intelligent and advanced the algorithm becomes over time.
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