The Power of Habit: 5 notes

1. Habits are optimised automations in our brains

Habits are optimised programs that are stored in the section of the brain called “basal ganglia”. If we repeat any task over and over again, our brain tends to optimise actions requiring finish the task and stores them in “basal ganglia” in a formulated routine. Then our brain uses that “already stored routine” instead of worrying about “how to do things”. (Similar to the machine/production automations that saves a lot of time and energy)

2. Habit loop or how habits are formed?

The golden rule of habit lies in these 3 steps: cue, routine and reward. I will put some images from the book that explain it all.

3. Habits are formed consciously and unconsciously

Some habits emerge as a result of life routines. For example, if you usually drink a cup of coffee every time around noon time, it may be due to the fact that you used to chat with colleagues in the office kitchen during lunch time and used to drink coffee as a part of group’s conversation tradition. Eventually you develop a habit, though you have not been subscribing to it knowingly. (Now count how many habits you’ve developed unconsciously so far?)

4. Societies and organisations also follow habits

The book surprised me with evidences of how groups of people and organisations also follow habits. There are a lot of scientific research about it. To understand how habits benefit or damage organisations or groups of people, I recommend you to read those case studies in the book.

  1. Where are you?
  2. What time is it?
  3. What is your emotional state?
  4. Who else is around?
  5. What action preceded the urge?

Read also:

1. Write Better Code Faster: 5 min read

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