Use Habits to Simplify Your Life

Sep 01, 2020

A few years ago, I became fascinated with automation software. The purpose of automation software is to automatically perform certain tasks. Two main benefits of automation software are guaranteed performance and save time.

Just think of that. You can do better work in less time. Who doesn’t want to work less and get better results? That seems like the ultimate win-win.

Automation software works by stringing a few instructions together. Let’s use a doorbell as an example.

  1. Someone comes to your door and presses the doorbell button.
  2. An electrical circuit is connected which powers an electromagnet.
  3. The magnet powers a piston to hit the bell.

The first step in the process is a trigger event. Nothing happens until the trigger event occurs. In our example, someone presses the doorbell. Once the trigger event occurs, it starts a chain reaction to perform the remaining tasks.

You could add additional steps to accomplish more. For example, we want our house lights to blink on and off when the doorbell rings. We add a device to turn lights on and off and connect it to the electric circuit. Then when the doorbell button is pushed it triggers the bell and the lights.

One day I was doing research on the power of habits. I realized habits give us the same results as automation software. With habits, we perform work better in less time.

The key to understanding how habits work lies in the way our brains function. Every day our brains perform tasks consciously and unconsciously. Conscious thoughts eat up a lot of energy. Unconscious thoughts don’t. Remember how tired you feel after solving a problem. You used a lot of energy thinking up a solution. Conversely, have you ever felt tired because your brain told your body to breathe, pump blood, or digest food.

More than 40 percent of our daily activities are governed by habits. We don’t have to think to breathe. It’s automatic. We don’t have to think to pump blood throughout our bodies. When we walk, we don’t have to think about which muscles to contract. Yes, even driving is a habit. That’s why you can enjoy listening to your favorite song while you drive.

Our brains are biologically designed to conserve energy so we can survive to live another day. If the brain can write a simple program in the form of a habit, it can move that work to the unconscious mind where we don’t have to think to do the work. The work becomes automatic.

All habits follow a structure called a habit loop composed of three steps:

  1. Cue – The beginning
  2. Reward – The end
  3. Routine – how we get from beginning to end

When something becomes a habit, it becomes easier because we don’t have to think about it anymore. We can just use the autopilot button of habit and presto the work gets done.

The key to changing our behaviors is to recognize the habits we use. Once we identify the habits, we can use the three steps of the habit loop to change or establish new ones.

The first step is to create a cue. A cue will be one of the following:

  • Time of the day
  • Location
  • Person you encounter
  • Finishing something
  • Emotion you feel

Once you have a cue you need to establish a reward for the routine you perform after you experience the cue.

The final step is to determine the routine you will perform.

Now we’ll put all this theory into practice to grow your business. Calling our database is a simple activity that leads to more business. Yet many people avoid making phone calls because it is not a habit. Let’s make it a habit.

  1. Cue = 9 am.
  2. Reward = our favorite coffee
  3. Routine = Make 10 phone calls

It’s important to include all three steps of the habit loop. If you skip one step you weaken your ability to create a new habit.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. What behavior do I want to create?
  2. What cue will I use?
  3. What reward will I give myself?
  4. What routine will I establish?

Now it’s time to create the habit formula.

When [Cue Occurs], I will [Do Routine] because it gives me my [Reward].

Your assignment is to develop one new habit and spend the next month working to make it a part of your life.



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WAYNE SALMANS is an author, speaker and business coach. In the past decade, he has coached and trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs, awarded 30 under 30 by Realtor Magazine, and ranked one of the top coaches in the world.  His passion is to help real estate business owners build, grow and scale their business, faster and with fewer bruises.  Text 469-500-3642 to have a discover coaching call.


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