I’ve written about habit chains before. In order to automate my life (saving precious my decision-making brain power on the things that matter) and to build good habits, people advise that you set up chains of actions that automatically trigger each following step. It is important to group actions in logical ways, breaking up bad habits by breaking their associations and replacing these with new ones.
So for example, I have a bad habit of drinking coffee while browsing the internet until waking up. My unconscious habit of wasting time online was always triggered by the post breakfast coffee and the location (kitchen table). Like, “hmm what should I do while finishing my coffee here? I guess I’ll check the news…” and then I’d lose an hour, long after the coffee went cold. I’ve also wasted the morning nap time by dicking around online or on my phone, assuming that since the baby doesn’t usually sleep past an hour for that nap and I’m TOO TIRED to do anything and my spouse is working, I should just chill on the couch.
I’m trying to build in a habit of incorporating a BHA in the morning. I’m also generally trying to be more efficient about errands and housework, cutting out dead time that falls during naps. I’ll watch a 30 minute video while tidying up instead. It is still “relaxing” and mindless but helpful. This frees up my afternoon so I can just focus on work and frees up my evening to truly relax.
This is my new habit chains. I’ve organized these to be easy and mindless, linked by time and location.
Bedroom: Wake up, contacts etc, BHA
Nursery: Get child, feed, diaper change
Bathroom: Wash hands, FTE + lotion
Kitchen: Breakfast, coffee, sunblock
Kitchen still: Check meal plan, make grocery list if necessary
Kitchen: Watch anime + dishes + clean up during the nap
Mid-morning – Afternoon
Nursery: Get child, feed, change clothes
Out: Errands, walk, play
Kitchen: lunch, dinner prep
Late afternoon – Evening
Nursery: Feed child
Kitchen: dishes, put away toys
Kitchen: Pump, meal planning or relaxing
Bedroom: Shower, sleep