Recently, a colleague was going to Airdrop a file to me. As we both stood there, she opened her phone…and immediately opened Instagram.
Her muscle memory was so programmed to go straight to Instagram that even though she intended to open her photos, she didn’t.
What habits do you do without thinking that lead to mindless spending of your time?
Social media is a big one. Instagram (and any other social media) are not bad in and of themselves. But social media is notorious for mindless time suck.
This also applies to non-digital areas of life. Maybe you walk into your house and immediately walk to grab a junk food snack or drink. Maybe it’s straight to the couch instead of a walk or a workout.
Is it possible to change these habitual routines – without endless charts or complex systems?
(I love charts and complex systems as much as the next person, but I don’t find them nearly as easy to implement as I’d like to think they are.)
What’s the solution? Disrupt your bad habits by rearranging your environment.
Three ways to rearrange your environment
- Rearrange all the icons on your phone. You can’t automatically click on Instagram if Instagram is in a different spot. Maybe even delete most of your apps and see what you miss.
- Rearrange where physical files and folders sit on your desk. Rearrange the icons on your computer. If possible, move your desk or sit somewhere different temporarily.
- At home, rearrange the contents of your fridge or kitchen cupboards. Set the TV remote in a different room. Put your workout clothes front and center in your closet or drawers.
I rearrange icons on my phone at least once a month. There are quite a few I’ve deleted (some repeatedly) that end up back because I do intentionally use them. There are others I’ve never missed.
What can you rearrange today to increase your intentionality?