- in Success
Have you ever taken a course in computer science? If so, you know what an algorithm is. If you don't know what this word means, go look it up. Go ahead. I'll wait….
Algorithms Ingrain Habit and Reduce Decision Fatigue
I like creating lots of algorithms in my life. These routines and loops help create habits--which reduce the need to burn mental energy on unnecessary decisions. To a degree, they reduce the need for decisions at all.
Here are a few of my algos:
- Make bed every morning first thing. Always.
- Write a blog post every morning before doing any other work. (We are on day 95 in a row.)
- Do a very minor set of sit-ups and kettlebells lifts (this is every other day and hasn't become a pure algo yet).
- Get exercise or at least a walk every other day (this is also not quite yet a pure routine).
- My uber-algo looks like this:
--Sit-ups and kettlebells
--Short walk around the block
--Write blog post
--Off to the races for the rest of the day...
The great thing about creating these rules is that, over time, they carry you through the rough days when you don't want to do anything for whatever reason. They gather a momentum and "muscle memory" of their own that just sort of kicks in. Also, for me, thinking of and calling these steps "algorithms" rather than "habits" makes the actions feel more deeply entrenched into my behavior--as something that just happens without me having to choose each time to take the action. Not sure why.
But Leave Room for Change and Adaptation
However, you have to be careful with these algorithms. You can't let them rule you or make your life too rigid. Whatever routines you create can always be improved. So remember to allow a yin and yang dynamic to guide you, and build rest into these patterns as well....