It takes mental energy to perform tasks and make decisions. On average, the human brain processes around 10,000 decisions every day. There must be a simpler method to harness the power of automation and reduce the cognitive load on the brain.
If you haven’t worked it out yet, the answer is to build effective habits into your life.
Habits Are The Key To Automation
Our behavior tends to follow the path of least resistance. As a result, we either get lazy in our choices or we lean towards the default. Our brains are wired to conserve energy and habitual tasks require the least amount of cognitive energy. The philosopher Plato was on to something when he said that excellence is an act but a habit.
Automate Simple Choices
Here is an elementary list of choices you probably make every day that could be better executed if they were automated:
- Diet: Once you figure out the kind of nutrition your body requires, it makes sense to automate your food purchases and preparation.
- Exercise: Having a weekly schedule increases your likelihood of sticking to your workout goals.
- Meditation: We are all seemingly busy so deciding in advance how, when and where you will practice mindfulness daily sets you up for a successful day.
- Distractions: Use the notification blockers and dedicate specified times in the day to check email, slack, whatsapp, and social media.
Change Old Habits & Learn New Ones
An old habit is much easier to change when you make it impossible to indulge yourself in the old behavior. For instance, you can cure a Netflix addiction much faster if you unsubscribe to the service and store the television in your basement for a few months.
To learn a new habit, you can use the science of habit stacking. According to author James Clear, focusing on one simple action that leads to larger actions is a simple way to harness the power of automation. Picking up a pen and your journal with the morning cup of coffee activates the ‘journaling habit.’ Putting on your sneakers right after your morning cup of coffee activates the ‘work out habit.’
Avoid trying to turn your life upside down. Start making small changes and perform the new actions every day. Over time, these actions create strong neural pathways in your brain and reduce the amount of energy consumed for that related action. As a result, these actions are now part of your automation-sequence.
Small Changes Can Lead To Big Results
Focus on the simple actions that trigger the larger set of actions that lead to the results you want. When it works in your favor, automation makes good habits inevitable and bad habits difficult or impossible. It’s the best way to lock in a certain desired behavior, rather than depending on sheer willpower or your emotions in the moment.
Remember that small habits performed daily result in big changes.
What aspects of your life can you automate today?
Sheevaun Moran is a business advisor, master coach, quantum energy thought leader and the founder of Energetic Solutions. She uses business principles with energetic techniques to help more than 25,000 entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders bring instant focus and shifts to clarity, purpose, and profits.
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