Repetitive behaviors strengthen the neural networks in the brain. With the developing networks, these behaviors turn into habits after a while. Do you remember the first day you started to pick up the phone when you woke up in the morning? When did you first start lounging in front of the TV after eating? We repeat some behaviors so many times without realizing that we cannot remember the beginning. We may feel as if we have been living like this since the day we were born.
Behaviors that become habits with repetition are not always bad. For someone who has been reading books since childhood, reading has become a habit rather than a behavior. It has also become an indispensable part of sports life for the person who does sports every morning.
With the pandemic process, the biggest problem I had for myself was that I could spend hours on social media when I could not find time for the things I really wanted to do. How was this happening? I was at home all the time but didn’t have time to read a book. In this situation, the time I spent on the phone could increase from day to day. As I was sitting in the living room, I realized that the idea of going to my room and setting a suitable light to pick up my book and read was beginning to tire me. I was running easy.
How To Get Away From Habits With The 20 Second Rule?
Shawn Achor , who studies positive psychology at Harvard and is also a successful author, gives place to his own experiences and solution in his book The Happiness Advantage. Achor, who wants to improve himself in playing the guitar, says that it was very difficult for him to get up while watching TV and start playing the guitar from his room. Continuing to watch television because he was too lazy to do this, Achor realizes that he needs to take steps to change his habits after a while.
It will take about 20 seconds to get up and pick up the guitar. Shawn puts his guitar next to the TV so that he won’t be stunned for 20 more seconds. He also takes out the batteries of the remote control and leaves it in another room. The next day, when he comes home, he finds himself in front of the TV after eating, as he always does. But there is something he forgot. The remote cannot turn on the TV because it has no batteries. At that moment, he immediately takes his guitar next to the television and starts working. It continues to do this for a while. After a certain time, he realizes that he is too lazy to take the batteries of the remote and turns to the guitar, which is an alternative at that moment.
The hardest part of doing a business is getting started. Once you start, you can continue somehow. But there is always an excuse to take the first step. For example, 20 seconds is too long to take the book from your room. The simplest thing you can do to eliminate these excuses is to minimize the effort and time it will take to get started.
You may want to exercise in the morning, but you may not be able to start. How would you like to sleep in your gym clothes? In this way, when you wake up in the morning, you will shorten the 20-second time you will spend to get dressed and eliminate one of your excuses.
For the behaviors you want to get rid of, you should do the opposite. For example, if you spend a lot of time on your social media accounts, you can create a home screen that you cannot reach with one click by deleting the applications. You’ll be stunned in the first two or three tries and maybe restore apps. However, if you have a little patience and take care not to have the applications on your phone, the effort you will spend to enter the applications will grow in your eyes after a while. In this way, you can gradually get rid of your social media addiction.
Here I leave a nice video about the 20 second rule: