Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the weight or immensity of what stands before you? It could be in your personal life, in academia, or business. I am referring to things that you need to be done by you. We all have experienced that at one point or another. What if I told you that you do not need to feel overwhelmed? What if I told you that you can complete all your to-dos despite how many they can be? The secret is simply found in leveraging on the power of micro habits. That is what I am looking at in this article. As Brian Tracy says, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits”.
What Are Micro Habits?
Let me define that using my own words as follows: these are small-sized, cumulative and or incremental actions done over time to accomplish a huge outcome. The idea or rationale behind this is to make big tasks much more manageable. I actually think that the micro habits approach is deeply ingrained in us but at times we lose sight of that. I mean, consider you buying a burger or hot dog, for example. You obviously cannot just throw it into your mouth and swallow it all at once. Rather you will take small bites over time till you finish eating it. That is essentially what the philosophy of micro habits entails really.
Why Micro Habits?
The concept behind micro habits is to hack the mind. The body is generally wired to shield itself against discomfort in any way. That is why when you push it too hard it withstands. That is why something like getting out of bed can be dreadful because the body would rather stay in a relaxed state. Micro habits are small meaning that they require small effort and a short time to do. The motivation needed to do them is quite minimal. The other thing is that doing one micro habit incentivises you to do the next one because you are aiming at something bigger. In the process, you will inadvertently learn focus, patience, and consistency. It is all about hacking the mind into seeing things differently.
Suppose there is a 300-page book you must read. At first, glance that seems like a colossal task right? If you think from a micro habit standpoint you can break it down to a point where you just glide through with ease. Break down the 300 pages into 30 units (you are considering a month period). That would mean 10 pages per day, much better! You can still break that down further. You can divide that by 2 – morning reading and day time (or night time) reading. That would mean you read just 5 pages each, twice a day. Resultantly you will smoothly finish reading a 300-page in a month. You get the idea, right?
Escape The Illusion – Less Can Actually Be More
There is this illusion that so many people play into. Let us suppose you want to work on a business plan or business proposal. You naturally think that if you spend hours on end working on it you will get it done more efficiently. Well, that is not really the case. For what it is worth you risk straining yourself, frustrating yourself, or even giving up altogether. The illusion is a mental disposition which tells you putting in more time for a stretch is the answer.
Rather than spend 2 straight hours working on it you can break it down into smaller chunks e.g. 15 minutes or 30 minutes at a time. You will realize that you will be more effective without any strain at all. Your productivity will be optimum each time you work on it. You get to even do more because, for instance, 4 hours divided into standalone 30-minute slots is easier to do than 4 straight hours. Remember human beings have even shorter attention spans these days. To adopt an approach that entails short bursts of intense focus, you break, recover and re-launch again and repeat the cycle.
There is no limit as to how you can apply the use of micro habits in your life. We have just started the year and you can really prime yourself to achieve so much this year, not just in business but in everything. Of course, planning and following through with action will be inevitable. Though the great thing about it is that you will not only get things done but you will develop virtuous attributes that will make you a solid entrepreneur.