Start using a calendar.
This takes the guess work out of anything.
People who don’t use a calendar to plan their day often putz around their day feeling guilty for not doing what they wanted to do.
Do you want to know why?
Because they never committed any set amount of time in their day to do it!
They build up all of this decision fatigue throughout the day:
- after finishing a workout: should I study? Nah I’ll do it later, I’m tired.
- after finishing eating breakfast: should I study? Nah I have the whole day.
- after eating dinner: should I study? Nah I’ll do it after this Netflix show I deserve to watch.
If you are constantly barraged with the choice of doing a hundred other things, it becomes extremely hard to choose to do the thing you know will benefit you in the long term.
So remove the option of doing anything else.
If you want to study for an hour a day, create a recurring event in Google Calendar or iCal and make it happen.
All you have to do is commit to what you said you were going to do at the time you put it down on your calendar. This is how I’ve created my best habits.
The secret to this is that you:
- Create a time expectation for your habit (perhaps 1 hour a day)
- Don’t have to continually remind yourself to do something (it’s on the calendar everyday so I know when to do it)
- Schedule in something immediately “fun” afterwards so that you reward yourself for committing to your habit
Don’t overshoot (I want to study 12 hours a day!), as the habit-creating process is a progressive one.
Start small and aim to have non-zero days.
Do a little bit every day, and your mind will get used to studying every single day.
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This question was originally asked on Quora here.