Habit Stack(ing)

Habit stacking is defined as doing other things on top of what you’d already be doing. So walking while listening to a podcast, washing dishes while learning a new language etc.

I started habit stacking after reading atomic habits – which may sound clich√© but it works. I habit stack everything in my daily life or as much as I can to ensure I’m getting the most of my “productive time” which is not the full working day.

Currently – I’m doing the second bit of the McKinsey Forward program and honestly – it’s easier to habit stack it while doing my daily tasks. Luckily – it relies on brain power you already has. This means that you were already going to do the task so just add something else to it.

I have the task of baby sitting now which I don’t hate but it changes my normal routine. I suddenly have to try work while a baby is crying which means I’ve adjusted both me and the kid to having meeting while I feed him the bottle. No – it’s not my kid because as most of you know, I don’t want babies but circumstances made it so.

The trick to habit stacking is finding the right trigger. Trigger is whatever gets you to do what you would normally do and more. I brainstorm my habits and right them on stick notes. This means that while I am making a cup of tea (cause coffee tastes horrible to me) then I will do my skin care while the kettle brews. While I am getting out of bed – I will put on my favorite tech podcast to keep me up to date with my tech stacks. And recently, during my work stand up – I will challenge myself with the Worldle puzzle that we do as a team. Yes – I still suck as geography that is outside Africa but I make note of the new countries and capitals I can learn about.

Moral is that it is hard but doable. Find something you already do everyday or consistently and add a thing that does not take away from it. This will allow them to feel like a “add-on” – like how you’d wear the same outfit in summer but in winter, you just add a cute trench coat.