Others say: “Habit change is easy!”
Time Management 2.0 says: “Habit change is hard, but it can be made easier with the right support.”
Thankfully, the research done on changing habits is clear and helpful.
To be effective, you’d better have a great support system. This is a part of the reason that Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers work so well — they provide superior support systems.
In Time Management 2.0, successful implementation has everything to do with the quality of the support system that a user puts in place. Once again, however, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that you can find that would work for you.
The research is clear on this point – a support system that works for you, might create havoc for me. Instead of just doing what others do, you must design your own combination of social, electronic and expert support so that you make it hard to escape the new habit without getting some feedback that reminds you (or forces you) to get back on track.
Doing this well is no easy task, as you are essentially finding creative ways to work around your habitual tendencies. In time management, someone may have practiced certain habits for decades before deciding to make a change. These are difficult to dislodge because they have had lots of time to be burned into your neuromuscular memory, and you no longer conciously think about doing them – they just get done.
In Time Management 2.0 we assume that changing habits is difficult, and that crafting this kind of supportive environment is critical to success. People need help in learning how to build these supports, so that they can radically improve the odds of implementing what they learn.
Some people use paid coaches to help keep them on track. Others join a group in which they can help each other stay on top. Electronic reminders have become more popular as a way of automatically prompting oneself to take action at specific times. Tracking progress with metrics is also a very powerful method.
Recently I stumbled across a web service at www.sticck.com that allows you to place a bet on yourself using real, live cash — it’s a fascinating new way to support yourself in making changes.
Understanding which of the above options, among many, will work for you requires some experimentation and insight that few possess. Once you figure out which supports work, however, you have the tremendous ability to change any habit at will, and you’ll be able to tell the difference between changes you MUST make and those you’d like to make someday.
Here are the links to all the pages in this report: